Southwest Leaves the Splash Zone

Parts with SeaWorld

Southwest will no longer be jet-setting in high Shamu style. (Zach Graves/Flickr)

If you're thinking Southwest Airlines decided to end its 25-year partnership with SeaWorld because of growing backlash against the animal-rights-offending parks, you're wrong. At least that's how the two companies are putting it publicly.

In the statement, SeaWorld says that the two "have enjoyed their long relationship, and wish each other continued success." This comes just a year after Southwest designed a new penguin-themed plane to celebrate a quarter century of blissful partnership.

But it also comes a year after the release of Blackfish, which has led others to break ties with SeaWorld and probably played a part in the company's 11 percent decrease in earnings from last year. The LA Times points out that a petition calling for the Southwest-SeaWorld breakup also racked up 30,000 signatures during the past year. Still, Southwest says that the decision was purely business-related, as the company aims to introduce international offerings over the coming years.

The only regrettable thing about this breakup is that Southwest will be repainting its SeaWorld planes, designed to look like airborne whales and other marine creatures. Those were pretty great.

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