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Houston Enjoys Expansion in Air Service in 2010

International and domestic flight options grow over the past year

Houston Airport System
December 17, 2010

Three new airlines and a slew of new nonstop flights make 2010 an incredibly successful year in regards to expanding service for air travelers in Houston.

Branson Air Express represents the first new airline to join the operation at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) in 2010. The carrier is now operating nonstop flights between Houston and Branson, Missouri.

The new service, which is marketed as public charter flights, features five weekly flights to the city that’s considered by many to be the “live music show capital of the world.”

In an effort to highlight the entertainment options available in Branson, the announcement of the new carrier featured a special appearance from country singer Moe Bandy.

“For Houston folks to drive to Branson, it's a 12 hour drive, but now you can take a nonstop flight that only takes two hours to come watch our shows in Branson," Bandy said.

The second new airline to land in Houston in 2010 is international discount carrier VivaAerobus. Operating inside Terminal D of George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), the airline is now offering bi-weekly nonstop flights to Monterrey, Mexico.

“Houston is a very important destination to Monterrey, considering the commercial, educational and cultural bond between these two cities,” says VivaAerobus commercial director Juan Carlos Zuazua.

Air passengers are also seeing new options in Mexican travel, thanks to Continental Airlines. The largest carrier at IAH is now operating nonstop service between IAH and Chiapas, Mexico. The new service marks the airline’s 30th Mexican destination originating from IAH.

© Houston Airport System
Branson Air Express, VivaAerobus and Atlas Air are the three new carriers arriving in Houston in 2010
Emirates and Singapore Airlines each make significant moves in 2010 as well, with each airline increasing the number of daily flights departing Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The third new airline to arrive in Houston over the past year is Atlas Air, which launched premium passenger private charter service on behalf of the United States-Africa Energy Association (USAEA).

On the domestic front, Southwest Airlines added three new destinations to their list of nonstops at HOU. The discount carrier began service to Panama City, Florida, as well as Greenville and Charleston in South Carolina. Hobby Airport has also received increases from Southwest Airlines in the number of daily flights traveling to Baltimore, Las Vegas, Orlando and San Antonio.

Continental and United Airlines have both been targeting Colorado in their seasonal route plans for Houston travelers. Continental will operate nonstop service between IAH and Crested Butte, while United Airlines will connect Houston with Aspen, Colorado.

“One of the key benefits of our merger is the ability to create a network that gives our customers more flight options,” said Greg Hart, United’s senior vice president.

United Airlines has recently announced new nonstop flights from Houston to Reno, NV, Palm Springs, CA, Bakersfield, CA, Cedar Rapids, IA, Grand Junction, CO, Hobbs, NM, and Montreal, Canada.

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