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Southwest opens new chapter: international flights

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 1, 2014 at 4:37 pm •  Published: July 1, 2014

Still, international flying and expansion in New York, Washington and Dallas are important as Southwest tries to regain momentum. In recent years, it has dealt with high fuel prices, a tepid U.S. economy, and tougher competition from both old rivals and newcomers such as JetBlue and Spirit.

Dallas-based Southwest's traffic — the number of miles that passengers fly — grew by double-digit percentages from 2004 through 2006. It hasn't approached that kind of growth since, however, except in the year that it added AirTran. Last year, traffic grew just 1.4 percent, the second-smallest gain in this century.

Its shares rose 87 cents, or 3.2 percent, to close at $27.73 after hitting an all-time high of $27.83 earlier in the session. They have gained 47 percent in 2014.