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Industry Changes Bring New Flights to Houston


March 1, 2012






© Houston Airport System
United Airlines, AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines have all made recent announcements regarding non-stop service.

Two major developments within the aviation industry continue to bring good news to passengers in Houston.

New non-stop flights are coming to the city as a result of United Airlines’ recent merger and Southwest Airlines’ purchase of fellow low-cost carrier AirTran Airways.

United Airlines

The new flights from United Airlines represent an increase in seasonal service at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

On June 7, United Express will launch daily non-stop service between IAH and Rapid City, South Dakota.

On June 8, United Airlines will begin twice-weekly flights connecting Houston with Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Both the Wyoming and South Dakota flights will continue through August 27, 2012.

“We continue to capitalize on the resources of the new United to create a network that gives our customers more flights to the places they want to go,” said James Starnes, United’s director of domestic planning. “The flexibility of our fleet allows us to put the right aircraft in the right markets to serve new communities and to add additional flights to communities we already serve.”

The non-stop service to South Dakota, which will offer Houston customers easy access to such tourist spots as the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park, will feature the Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft. The Wyoming flight will utilize the Bombardier CR7 aircraft.

AirTran Airways

In late May 2012, AirTran Airways will begin operating new flights at William P. Hobby Airport. The low-cost carrier, which was recently purchased by Southwest Airlines, will begin flights to San Antonio, as well as Austin.

The flights are in support of new international routes launched by AirTran Airways, connecting Texas with Cancun, Mexico. Two flights per week to San Antonio will be added to the AirTran Airways schedule on May 25, 2012. On the following day, the airline will begin operating three weekly flights between Houston and Austin.  These new flights from AirTran Airways will be in addition to the 33 weekly flights between Houston and San Antonio operated by Southwest Airlines, and the 36 weekly flights operated by Southwest which connect Houston and Austin.

The new service to both destinations will remain in place through September 28, 2012.

“We are excited to offer more domestic markets and new opportunities to travel to Mexico, said Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer and AirTran Airways president. “The additional service is one way customers are already realizing the benefits of the Southwest and AirTran acquisition.” 

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is launching a new non-stop flight of its own on June 3, 2012. 

The low-cost carrier will begin operating a daily flight between Hobby Airport and Sea-Tac International Airport in Seattle, Washington.

The flight will depart Houston at 10:40 a.m. each day, except for Saturdays when departure time is set for 10:15 a.m.  The return flight will arrive in Houston at 3:05 p.m., except for Saturdays when it arrives at 1:20 p.m.

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