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New Flights for Hobby Airport’s Spring Schedule


April 2, 2012





  © Houston Airport System
  April will be a busy month at William P. Hobby Airport, with Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways launching non-stop service to three new destinations.
 
Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways continue to make significant additions to their flight schedules at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), with each airline launching new non-stop flights in April and laying the ground work for even more service in the future.

Southwest Airlines will launch non-stop service to both Kansas City (MCI) and Raleigh-Durham (RDU) on April 22, while AirTran Airways once again starts seasonal service to the popular tourist destination of Branson, Missouri beginning on April 10.

Additional service is coming from Southwest Airlines later in the spring, as they plan on launching non-stop service between Houston and Seattle (SEA) on June 3.

Since Southwest Airlines’ purchase of AirTran Airways, both airlines have made substantial changes to their respective route maps as they look to completely consolidate operations in the future.

Over the past several months, Southwest Airlines has taken over three of the six daily flights to Atlanta from its acquired partner, while AirTran Airways has announced new flights between Houston and San Antonio, as well as Austin.

“Passengers in Houston are seeing two things happen simultaneously,” says Genaro Peña, Houston Airports’ director of air service development.  “Southwest Airlines is adopting more and more of AirTran’s flight schedule and at the same time, we’re seeing an expansion of service from both airlines here in the Houston market.”

The non-stop flights to Seattle and Raleigh-Durham represent new additions to the Southwest schedule at Hobby Airport. Prior to their arrival, passengers at HOU were only able to access these destinations by routing their flights through a connecting city.

The dominant low-cost carrier in Houston is also increasing the number of frequencies associated with cities already in place on its route map. For example Southwest has recently increased the number of daily flights between Houston and airports in Chicago (Midway), Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia.

"We are looking for ways to maximize our fleet, our operations, and our low fares to give customers more options when traveling," said Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer and AirTran Airways president.

Additional service could be on its way to Houston if a Southwest Airlines’ plan is approved in Washington, DC. The carrier is seeking permission to offer service between Ronal Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Austin, Texas (AUS).

If the plan is approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Southwest Airlines has already announced that it would offer connecting service between Hobby Airport and DCA through Austin. A decision by the DOT is expected in May 2012. 
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