Expanding its international service, Southwest plans to begin flying to Belize in 2015

Southwest Airlines expects to begin flights to Belize City next year as it expands international service.

The airline said Thursday that it will fly to Belize from Houston beginning next October.

Southwest says it also plans to fly to four other destinations in Mexico and one in Costa Rica from a new international concourse being built at Houston's Hobby Airport. Southwest needs federal government approval for the flights.

Southwest has taken over flights to Mexico and the Caribbean that were operated by AirTran Airways, which Southwest bought in 2011 and is now shutting down. AirTran's last flight will be Dec. 28.

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. were up 50 cents to $41.98 in afternoon trading Thursday. They have doubled this year.