DALLAS, April 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today unveiled a new tool in its effort to offer a voice to Houstonians and international travelers alike who are looking for a low fare alternative to destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, and cities in Central and South America.
Earlier this year, Southwest submitted a proposal to the City of Houston asking for approval to construct a new five-gate international facility at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). This proposed expansion—paid for by the users of the facility and guaranteed by Southwest—would open up new low-cost international travel competition to the area, which is currently only available at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The new international facility, according to a new third-party study released by the Houston Airport System (HAS), would create an economic impact for the City of Houston of more than $1.6 billion annually. The study, compiled by InterVISTAS Consulting LLC and GRA, Incorporated, reveals that with lower air fares and increased travel options, more than 1.5 million additional Passengers would travel each year and more than 10,000 jobs would be created across the Greater Houston metropolitan area.
"Houston is one of Southwest Airlines' three original cities and our roots in this community are strong and deep," stated Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO. "By taking action at www.freehobbyairport.com, Houstonians and all international travelers are saying they believe competition is a good thing, which will bring lower fares, stimulate travel demand, and create significant economic growth and job creation for the Houston metropolitan area."
Visitors to www.freehobbyairport.com can voice their support to Houston's City Council members for Southwest's proposed international service and also learn more about the carrier's commitment to the Houston community, additional information on the proposed service, and review the findings and recommendations of the Houston Airport System's study.
Southwest has served Houston since June 18, 1971. Hobby Airport is home to Southwest Airlines, with more than 2,700 Employees serving 134 flights every day. Its geographic location is convenient to the metro area's burgeoning Hispanic population and provides a convenient gateway to more people wishing to travel to Mexico, the Caribbean, and parts of Central and South America.
Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers — offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and has acquired AirTran Airways, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. Southwest serves 73 cities in 38 states and remains one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet. To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit southwest.com/cares to read the Southwest Airlines One Report™. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,200 flights a day and has more than 37,000 Employees.