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Southwest Airlines Closes Year on High Note


January 15, 2013



© Houston Airport System
Southwest Airlines will connect Houston and New York City beginning June 2013 and hopes to add Washington, D.C. to its HOU list in the near future.
Southwest Airlines closed out 2012 with yet another round of exciting announcements regarding air service at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport (HOU).

The low cost carrier will begin flying to Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (PIT) and New York City’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in the second quarter of 2013.

In addition to launching these new routes, Southwest Airlines is also making plans to connect Houston with Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C. (DCA), filing the necessarry paperwork with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“The partnership that exists between Southwest Airlines and the City of Houston reached unprecedented levels in 2012,” says Ian Wadsworth, chief commercial officer for the Houston Airport System. “In addition to choosing Houston as an international gateway of the future, Southwest Airlines continues to make significant investments in strengthening its domestic route map from Hobby Airport.”

The flights between Houston and CLT and PIT will each begin daily operations on April 13 and April 14, 2013 respectively.

The flight between Houston and LGA is slated to begin June 2, 2013 and will operate from Hobby Airport on a daily basis. Southwest Airlines’ Houston customers currently access the New York market by flying into nearby Newark Liberty International Airport in (EWR) Newark, New Jersey.

The low cost carrier also filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation, asking for permission to begin non-stop service between Hobby Airport and Washington, D.C., saying that approval would stimulate new travel between the two destinations and lower average fares for millions of passengers.

As part of the effort to bring a low-fare alternative to the HOU-DCA market, Southwest launched a new informational Web site, www.redwhitehou.com. The site offered information about the proposed route and urged visitors to sign a petition in support of Southwest’s proposed service.  Once the drive was complete, the site had generated more than 10,000 signatures. 

“Houston is one of Southwest Airlines’ three original cities, and this proposed new service is another example of our strong commitment to continue adding value to the community,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ chairman, president and CEO. “By taking action now, Houstonians and all travelers can make their voices heard that competition is a good thing, and lower fares are vitally important in these challenging economic times.”

A decision by the DOT is expected in the first quarter of 2013. Southwest Airlines is prepared to launch the new service in the Spring of 2013 if approval is granted.
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