Southwest Airlines will expand its services in Houston to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in the first half of 2021, Houston Airports announced recently. The new airline expansion will complement Southwest Airlines’ substantial operation at William P. Hobby Airport.
“Houston Airports support and applaud this decision by Southwest Airlines to grow air service offerings in Houston during a time when air carriers are doing what they can to recover from the effects of the pandemic and once again reach a point of profitability," Houston Airports Director of Aviation Mario Diaz said.
Diaz said Southwest Airlines will continue “its exceptional service and operations out of Hobby Airport, and its new service out of IAH will only complement its current offerings.”
Southwest Airlines has a long history with IAH. Intercontinental served as one of three airports where Southwest operated on its first day in operation, June 18, 1971. The carrier moved to Hobby Airport shortly thereafter, though it operated service from both airports between 1980 and 2005. Southwest remains a key employer in the City of Houston, providing nearly 4,000 jobs.
"Southwest owes decades of success to our Employees and Customers who have supported our business in Chicago and Houston," said Gary Kelly, chief executive officer and chairman, Southwest Airlines. "Today's announcement furthers our commitment to both cities as we add service to share Southwest's value and Hospitality with more leisure and business travelers."
The air carrier also announced plans to expand its footprint in Chicago, adding service to Chicago O’Hare airport.
Additional details, including schedules and fares, will be available soon.