Southwest enters international market

It turns out that all of that hubub we heard about Southwest joining the international market earlier this year was true. And why not? They’re in the best financial situation of any of the current operating airlines — why not expand now while the the competition is faltering? Why not step on the throats of the choking airline industry?

Just today, the Dallas based company announced that they were entering a partnership with Westjet, one of Canada’s largest carriers. The deal will involve sharing flights and operations for a variety of services and will ultimately be implemented in late 2009.

Westjet, in case you’re wondering, is based in Calgary, AB and has focus cities in Edmonton and Vancouver. So this agreement will hopefully make travel from core Southwest sites up to the great north a little easier and less expensive — you also might be able to earn Southwest miles as well.

Details of the agreement are still slim, but as the integration continues we’ll probably get more info on exactly which routes and schedules will be merged between the two airlines. For now, consider this an ominous precursor to Southwest entering (and maybe taking over) the international airline market. Hold on to those shares.