MIAMI — Southwest Airlines has filed an application with the US Department of Transportation to serve Grand Cayman with a daily flight from Fort Lauderdale, beginning next June 4, subject to government approvals.

The inaugural flight will mark the June 4th opening of a new five-gate international concourse at Terminal 1 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, from which the airline will offer new international services to Montego Bay, Belize and Cancun, alongside the existing flights to Havana, Varadero and Santa Clara in Cuba, as well as Nassau in Bahamas.

Southwest comes to compete in a market widely dominated by American Airlines and flag carrier Cayman Airways, which offer up to five daily flights to Grand Cayman from Miami.

JetBlue, the top carrier at Ft. Lauderdale by number of flights, is also turning up the heat with its international aspirations launching a new nonstop to Aruba on Wednesday Jan 4th. Spirit, JetBlue, and Southwest are locked in a unique 3-way LCC/ULCC battle at the South Florida airport.

In the last years, Fort Lauderdale has seen an extensive growth in international service, with new carriers such as Azul, British Airways, Condor, Emirates and Norwegian joining the fray.

Besides this international expansion out of Fort Lauderdale, Southwest expects to resume nonstop flights to Orlando and launch a new daily flight to Washington Dulles and Philadelphia respectively.

This announcement comes a day after the Dallas-based carrier revealed its plans to pull out of Dayton, and shifting its flights to Cincinnati, also set to start on June 4.

Southwest Airlines Leaves Dayton for Cincinnati