U.S. airlines believe there is a bright future in Latin America and the Caribbean.
A strong U.S. dollar has made it easier for Americans to travel overseas and the middle class is growing rapidly in Latin America. Those two factors have helped increase tourism in and out of the area.
On Thursday, Southwest Airlines (LUV) opened a new international hub in Houston with plans to double the number of its destinations to 12 by the end of the year.
According to CNN Money, “Since the end of 2010, JetBlue (JBLU) has nearly doubled its destinations in the region from 19 to 35. And Spirit (SAVE) airlines also plans to increase the number of flights to the region this year.”
It doesn’t hurt that Latin American is closer than Europe, Asia, and Africa, which means cheaper flights.
With millions of people moving out of poverty since the 21st century began, there are also more Latin Americans choosing to cash in and fly to America for vacation, making a Latin America investment that much more attractive for Airlines.
Much of the Latin American region, especially Brazil, are in the grips of a recession or impending recession, which has decrease outbound traffic over the last year. However, American’s are still jumping at the chance to visit areas where the value of the dollar has increased by upwards of 18% in recent months.