Southwest Airlines gets green light for flights between Houston and Mexico City, Cabo

IndustriesAssociated Press

Southwest Airlines Co. has won U.S. approval to fly from Houston to Mexico City and the San Jose del Cabo.

Southwest plans to operate the flights beginning in October from a new international terminal being built at Houston's Hobby Airport.

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The number of flights between the U.S. and Mexico is limited by treaty, but the U.S. Department of Transportation indicated Tuesday that both countries agreed to allow additional airlines to fly across the border.

Southwest had tried to replace United Airlines or its United Express partner, SkyWest Airlines, on the two Houston-Mexico routes, but the U.S. Department of Transportation declined to approve that request in January.

On Tuesday, the department said that it decided to grant Southwest's request after finding that Mexican aviation authorities would also approve the extra service.

United spokeswoman Mary Clark said the airline applauded Tuesday's decision, saying it will benefit consumers without affecting current services on the routes.