MIAMI — Southwest Airlines will be adding  San Jose, Costa Rica, as its newest international destination. Beginning March 7, 2015, the carrier will offer daily roundtrip service from Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) to Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose. 

Speaking at the Greater Washington Board of Trade in Washington, D.C., Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said, “Our People and policies bring unique value to the travel experience and we have big plans to extend that value to international destinations where our customers want to go.  Our substantial presence in Baltimore/Washington is a natural place to do that by bringing nonstop access to new, international markets.”

BWI currently lacks nonstop service to San Jose, however Southwest’s service will compete (indirectly) with United’s nonstop service from Washington Dulles. San Jose is a large local market from the Baltimore-Washington metro area, however, the airline will also be able to draw on its large hub at BWI, with close to 200 daily flights providing connectivity.

San Jose will become Southwest’s sixth international destination, but the first new one after it fully integrates AirTran’s routes at the end of 2014. All of Southwest’s current international routes serve Mexico or Caribbean island nations. The airline will convert service to Punta Cana and Mexico City from AirTran service on November 2, 2014.