Southwest Airlines Discontinues Service at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport

HOUSTON, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) announced today that it will cease flight operations at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport at the end of the day on April 2, 2005. Southwest’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport departures will continue to operate as presently scheduled through April 2, 2005. Ticketed passengers, passengers holding reservations, or passengers desiring to make reservations for flights to or from Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport have no need to alter their plans involving travel prior to April 3, 2005. Southwest will start contacting those passengers who are currently holding reservations into and out of Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport for the timeperiod of April 3, 2005 through June 6, 2005, in order to assist them in reaccommodating their air travel needs.

Southwest currently operates six daily nonstop flights between Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Dallas Love Field Airport. Southwest Airlines will continue to offer service between Houston and Dallas through its Houston Hobby Airport operation. Houston Hobby is Southwest’s fifth busiest airport with 139 daily departures, including 29 daily flights to Dallas Love Field.

Gary Kelly, Southwest’s Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “We are discontinuing service at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport at the end of the day on April 2, 2005, for business reasons. With the continuing airline industry challenges, we cannot continue to serve two airports in Houston and realize the losses we have generated for years at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport. We are making an enormous commitment to Houston Hobby Airport, making it the focal point of our future growth.”

In 1980, Southwest started its dual airport operation in Houston with seven daily nonstop departures from Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Dallas Love Field Airport. Since that time, passenger traffic has grown at Houston Hobby Airport bringing the total number of daily nonstop departures to 139; while, Southwest’s Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport operation has decreased to six daily nonstop departures.

“Although we are discontinuing service at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport at the end of the day on April 2, 2005, we hope to accommodate all of our Houston Customers and friends via Houston Hobby Airport,” Kelly said. “While we do, indeed, regret that Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport will no longer be a part of Southwest’s operations, we celebrate the fact that the people of Houston can still take advantage of our extensive flight schedule at Houston Hobby Airport.”

Kelly also stated that all of Southwest’s Houston George Bush Intercontinental Employees have performed superbly and are being guaranteed jobs elsewhere on the Southwest system, with the opportunity to work at Houston Hobby Airport if they so desire. A generous separation package is being offered to Employees that choose to leave the Company.

In its 33-year history, Southwest Airlines has only discontinued operations at four other airports: San Francisco International Airport in 2001; Detroit City Airport in 1993; Denver’s Stapleton International Airport in 1986; and Beaumont/Port Arthur in 1980.

http://www.southwest.com/

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