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Southwest Airlines Continues Houston Growth

November 5, 2012

© Houston Airport System
Southwest Airlines continues to add new destinations to its list of non-stop flights available at William P. Hobby Airport.
Southwest Airlines continues to make news at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), most recently announcing plans to launch non-stop service to both Charlotte, NC and Pittsburgh, PA.

The new service begins on April 14, 2013 and marks the latest in a string of positive announcements made by Southwest Airlines over the past ten months concerning its route schedule at Hobby Airport.

The dominant carrier at HOU launched non-stop service to six new destinations during the first 10 months of the year and increased the number of daily frequencies for other flights already established in the Houston market.

“The partnership between Southwest Airlines and the city of Houston is stronger than it’s ever been,” says Houston aviation director Mario Diaz. “Southwest Airlines continues to view this market as the premiere location in regards to future growth opportunities.”

In the early months of 2012, much of the Houston activity from Southwest Airlines centered around the carrier’s acquisition of AirTran Airways, as AirTran routes to Atlanta, GA and Branson, MO were shifted to the Southwest operation.

But by April 2012, Southwest Airlines was focusing on service to new destinations from Hobby Airport, including new non-stops to Raleigh-Durham, NC and Kansas City, MO. These two new routes meant that Southwest Airlines was operating 130 flight operations at Hobby Airport each day and their customers had non-stop flight access to 35 different destinations.

Plans for future growth took an even more dramatic turn in May 2012, when Southwest Airlines received approval from Houston city council members to begin operating international flights at Hobby Airport.

“It’s all about competition, lowering fares and making international travel affordable,” says Southwest Airlines’ CEO Gary Kelly. “We are extremely excited about the opportunities opening up to us in Houston.”

The expansion will mean flights to Latin America from Hobby Airport by 2015, if the federal government approves a new customs facility necessary to screen international passengers. 
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