40 Years Of LUV

Southwest airlines san diego to norfolk nonstop in 2021

Southwest Airlines has long been part of the San Diego community – 40 years to be exact. We’ve been serving San Diego International Airport since 1982 with a mission to provide San Diego with affordable and relevant air service. We started out with six daily departures to Phoenix and have grown exponentially ever since.

Now, we are California’s largest carrier, have over 500 San Diego-based employees, and operate 114 departures to 30 destinations. Having a mainstay in San Diego, which was our seventeenth destination, has also been a major contributor to our overall growth, which is why we want to share this exciting achievement with you. Over the years, we have focused on prioritizing low costs, industry-leading customer service, and partnerships within the community.

Currently, we are working with the Airport Authority and other airlines that serve SAN to replace the outdated Terminal 1 with a world-class facility that will turn a new page for the airport. The goal is to improve travelers’ and airline workers’ experience by making the airport more accessible.

But at our Heart, we more than an airline. We’re your neighbor. We strive to be hands-on with local organizations by devoting volunteer hours and providing financial and in-kind support to over 25 local non-profits. In 2021 along, we contributed over $592,000 in community investments, including airline tickets and cash. The organizations we have partnered with over the years have ranged from medical service providers and educational programs to those that serve foster children and other vulnerable communities. We’ve been involved with non-profits that assist in the transport of service dogs across the country, providing funding for critical programs, and helping keep families together through life-threatening illnesses.

For Southwest, it is important to dedicate time and money to improving life for San Diegans, but we also want to encourage others to do the same through campaigns and by leading by example. Giving back and leading with LUV is something that is ingrained in the very fabric of our culture. At Southwest Airlines, we believe that the “Warrior Spirit” and “Servant’s Heart” will allow organizations and individuals to make a substantial difference in the world we live in. We believe that consistent commitment to service both in the air and in the communities we serve helps us cultivate valuable, lasting relationships with our passengers, employees, and essential local organizations.

We have loved serving “America’s Finest City” for 40 years, and we hope to welcome you onboard one of our many new, nonstop flights. In addition to our San Diego anniversary, Southwest Airlines has a lot to celebrate this year including our 40-year anniversaries in Kansas City, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Join us in celebrating these milestones and our many years of service. It has been an honor to be part of your travels and we look forward to another 40-plus years of being your community partner and exceptional flight service provider.


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Esteban Villanueva