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Houston Mayor Announces Support to "Free Hobby"

Proposal to Expand William P. Hobby Airport Now Heads to City Council For a Vote

May 23, 2012

HOUSTON, May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- At a news conference earlier today, the Honorable Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker announced her support of Southwest Airlines' (NYSE: LUV) proposal to construct a new five-gate international facility at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU).  Earlier this year, Southwest asked the City of Houston for permission to look into the construction of a five-gate international facility. The plan is to fly to destinations such as Mexico, the Caribbean and cities in Central and South America.

Mayor Parker and Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO announced details of the agreement, which is still subject to approval from the Houston City Council. The proposal will be financed by Southwest Airlines at no cost to the city of Houston. No Passenger Facility Charges are required in the agreement, no debt will be issued by the City of Houston and no general revenue funds will be used as part of this arrangement.

"Today is a great day for Southwest Airlines, a great day for the city of Houston, and a great day for Houston's international travelers who have suffered for far too long from high fares and limited options," said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO. "I want to thank Mayor Parker for her support. There is still much work to do, but I believe our proposal shows that we are committed to bringing international service to Hobby, without the city taking on additional debt."

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. Upon approval by the Houston City Council, Southwest and the Houston Airport System would begin work immediately. The construction is expected to take a couple of years, with the facility ready to initiate international service sometime in 2015.

To learn more and to join the growing number of supporters, take action now at

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 to read the Southwest Airlines One Report™. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,(3)00 flights a day and has more than 3(9),000 Employees.

SOURCE Southwest Airlines

For further information: Southwest Airlines, +1-214-792-4847