DALLAS—Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today officially opened a new maintenance facility at William P. Hobby International Airport, highlighting the importance Houston holds for the nation's largest domestic airline* and underscoring its commitment to Safety while investing in the Bayou City.
The 240,000 square foot maintenance complex, now the largest in the airline's network, includes offices, training facilities, warehouse space, and a 140,000 square foot hangar. This allows for the nearly 400 Houston based Technical Operations Employees to work simultaneously on up to six 737 aircraft indoors and has space for an additional eight aircraft outside the hangar bays. It replaces Southwest's smaller Technical Operations facility at Hobby Airport, which opened in 1988.
"This state-of-the-art hangar will support our Technical Operations Team's unwavering commitment to Safety and maintaining our fleet to the highest standards," said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO. "I'm very proud of our hundreds of Technical Operations Employees in Houston for the work they do every day to support our growing operation from Houston's Hobby Airport, which includes almost 200 departures per day during peak seasons to nearly 70 destinations across the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean."
"We thank Southwest Airlines for its nearly 50-year partnership and commitment to the Houston community," Mayor Sylvester Turner said. "Between the direct employment of 5,000 local residents, continued growth in flight activity, and this investment in infrastructure, the airline represents $3 billion in economic impact for Houston each year, and that's something that makes us proud and thankful."
"Having similar values allowed McCarthy Building Companies and Southwest Airlines to form an integrated team to address the many entities and hurdles involved with constructing such a high profile project at a major airport. This was instrumental in the success of this project and the teams' ability to deliver it on time," said Jim Stevenson, McCarthy's Houston Division President. "We are proud of our partnership with Southwest and pleased to be part of this important maintenance hangar project that will have such a high impact on its operations."
The airline is currently investing in aircraft maintenance build-outs at Baltimore/Washington International Airport and Denver International Airport, as well as an expansion of its maintenance facility at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport. Including the projects in Denver and Baltimore, the airline expects to have eight maintenance hangars throughout the United States.
Broadcast-quality photos and videos are available for download at the carrier's online newsroom, swamedia.com/houstonhangar.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 49th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 60,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 130 million passengers annually. *Southwest became the nation's largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. In peak travel seasons, Southwest operates more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 101 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries.
Southwest coined Transfarency® to describe its purposed philosophy of treating Customers honestly and fairly, and low fares actually staying low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some carriers offer free checked bags on select routes or in qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply.
Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. Learn more about how the carrier gives back to communities across the world by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship.
Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at Southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.
Visit the Southwest Newsroom at swamedia.com for multi-media assets and other Company news.
Media Relations Team: 214-792-4847, option 1
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