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Southwest Airlines to Begin Non-stops
Sooner Than Expected

January 4, 2012

© Houston Airport System
With the new schedule in place, Southwest Airlines will be operating an average of 135 daily flights in Houston.
New non-stop flights from Southwest Airlines are arriving at William P. Hobby Airport sooner than expected. The low cost carrier will begin operations to Kansas City and Raleigh-Durham on April 22, 2012 rather than the original target date of June 3.

A non-stop flight between Houston and Seattle will also be available from Southwest Airlines, beginning on June 3, 2012.

In addition to these new routes, Southwest Airlines is also adding frequencies to their currently served markets in Chicago (Midway), Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia.

“This is a case where great news is getting even better,” says Houston Airport System’s director of air service development Genaro Peña. “Not only do our passengers get to take advantage of the new service even sooner than expected, but it’s also a reflection of the level of optimism and confidence surrounding the success of the new routes.”

The new service is due in part to Southwest Airlines’ purchase of former rival low cost carrier AirTran Airways. The two airlines are expected to begin operations as a single company in the first quarter of 2012, once the Federal Aviation Administration grants a joint operating certificate.

The purchase of AirTran Airways is allowing Southwest Airlines to make significant changes to its route schedule and early on in the process, Houston is proving to be a prime beneficiary. The Southwest Airlines schedule at Hobby Airport will feature seven additional daily flights as a result of the airlines’ new route plan.

"We continue to set the stage for long-term growth by aligning our current networks to maximize what we each do best,” says Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “The next step, which we anticipate will happen in the first half of next year, will be to connect these two strong networks to offer our collective passengers lower fares on more flights, which we believe will greatly benefit consumers and create significant revenue potential for Southwest."

Southwest Airlines typically handles 86 percent of the annual passenger traffic recorded at William P. Hobby Airport. Once the new schedule is in place, Southwest Airlines will be operating an average of 135 daily flights at Hobby Airport. 
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