Southwest has big news

On Friday, Southwest airlines announced a historic new route between Florida and Cuba. In November, the carrier will begin nonstop service to Cuba, making it the ninth country and 100th destination Southwest flies to with routes to Havana, Varadero and Santa Clara.

Southwest is offering special $59 one-way nonstop flights to and from Cuba to kick off the new offering. There are restrictions. But you will likely need a required 14-day advance purchase through Nov. 20, 2016, 11:59 p.m. in the time zone of the originating city, for travel Nov. 13, 2016, through April 24, 2017.

“Southwest Customers can book their tickets now to travel to Cuba with our low fares and no hidden fees, bags fly free, and the best employees in the industry,” Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ Chairman, President & CEO, said in a statement.

Southwest service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Varadero, Cuba is scheduled to begin Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, and Havana service is scheduled to start Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, from both Fort Lauderdale and Tampa International Airport, subject to requisite approvals of the Cuban government.

Southwest officials said service details for flights to Santa Clara, Cuba will be released in the coming weeks.

“We’re continuing to invest in the Sunshine State with relevant service in all eight of our Florida airports to connect Southwest customers to important things in their lives,” said Steve Goldberg, Southwest Airlines’ Vice President of Ground Operations, in announcing Cuba service details today at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Broward County’s brand new, five-gate international concourse is scheduled to open next summer at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International.  To celebrate Southwest’s new service the airline sent dozens of employees to surprise local residents with $100 Southwest Airlines gift certificates to spread awareness of the new flights.

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