Southwest Airlines Announces Initial New Orleans Flight Schedule; Carrier Will Start With Two Daily Departures to Houston Hobby

DALLAS, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) today provides details on its initial flight schedule from New Orleans in the “post-Katrina era.” Starting Sept. 20, 2005, Southwest will support two daily roundtrip flights between Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) and Houston’s Hobby Airport (HOU). Seats on these two flights are available for sale through the end of Southwest’s current schedule (Jan. 9, 2006).

Those initial departures are:
11:35 a.m. from New Orleans Arriving in Houston at 12:40 p.m.
5:05 p.m. from New Orleans Arriving in Houston at 6:10 p.m.

Return flights to New Orleans are:
10:15 a.m. departure from Houston Arriving in New Orleans at 11:15 a.m.
3:45 p.m. departure from Houston Arriving in New Orleans at 4:45 p.m.

“Once we had all of our New Orleans-based Employees accounted for, we began working with airport and government officials on how and when we would be able to return service to a city we have served continuously since 1979,” said Colleen Barrett, Southwest’s President. “Since commercial air service to the city will be limited for some time, we decided to initially focus that service into Houston Hobby where Southwest has a significant presence with a wide range of destinations for our New Orleans Customers.”

Southwest Airlines has more than 400 Employees who reside in the New Orleans area, more than half of whom work at the airport. After evacuating a number of them and their families to other Southwest Airlines cities, the carrier suspended service to New Orleans on August 28, just hours before Hurricane Katrina hit.

“The people of New Orleans are anxious to rebuild their city and Southwest Airlines is intent upon helping them do just that,” Barrett said. “Though we cannot predict how long it will take for passenger demand to justify additional flights, we have a long history of responding to passenger demand with added flights affording reliable, dependable, low fare air service. We take pride in the knowledge that we will, as always, be a Good Neighbor to our good friends in New Orleans, and we look forward to growing incrementally with them and being part of the city’s rebirth.”

Before Hurricane Katrina, Southwest had 57 daily nonstop departures from New Orleans to 16 cities.

MSY Travel Advisory

Please be advised that ground transportation is limited and curfew restrictions may be in place throughout Jefferson Parish and the City of New Orleans, as well as the surrounding area. All transportation, hotel, and/or other arrangements need to be confirmed before departure.

Southwest advises Customers traveling into New Orleans to check the State of Louisiana’s official web site, , for the latest information and resources concerning Hurricane Katrina.

All reservations previously held by Southwest Airlines Customers for flights to/from New Orleans (MSY) between September 3, 2005 and January 9, 2006, have been cancelled and are not being reinstated. Customers should contact Southwest Airlines via its web site,, or by calling Reservations at (800)I FLY SWA to book the two new roundtrip flights between New Orleans and Houston.

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