Carrier Plans Modest Start-Up with Flights to Chicago Midway in March 2009
DALLAS—Oct. 1, 2008—Southwest Airlines today announced its intent to begin service from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in March 2009. The carrier has not released specific service details, saying only that it will begin a modest operation at MSP with flights to Chicago Midway only.
"Minneapolis-St. Paul’s geographic location complements the vast Southwest Airlines network really well,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO. “We have studied and been interested in serving this very popular market for quite some time, and we look forward to bringing our low fares and legendary Customer Service to the people of Minnesota.
“Presently, we intend to grow our 2009 fleet by no more than ten Boeing 737-700 aircraft. We recently deferred four aircraft scheduled for delivery from Boeing in 2009 to 2016. While it is very likely we will not grow our available seat miles in 2009, our new schedule optimization tools allow us to better manage our fleet and adjust our flight schedule to take advantage of great opportunities such as Minneapolis-St. Paul," Kelly said.
The Company plans to release more details of its future service to Minneapolis-St. Paul in the coming months.
"One of the most frequent questions I have been asked over the years is, 'When is Southwest Airlines coming to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport?' Today, I can finally give people the answer we have been working toward: 'Very, very soon.’ I am confident Southwest will receive overwhelming community support for its new service to the Twin Cities,” said Executive Director of Metropolitan Airport Commission Jeff Hamiel. “The Metropolitan Airports Commission stands ready to assist the airline in establishing and growing service to Minnesota.”
After 37 years of service, Southwest Airlines, the nation’s leading low-fare carrier, continues to stand above other airlines—offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service with no hidden fees. Southwest Airlines is the most productive airline in the sky and offers Customers a comfortable traveling experience with all premium leather seats and plenty of legroom. Southwest recently updated its gate areas and improved its boarding procedure to make flying Southwest Airlines even more convenient. Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the nation's largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 64 cities in 32 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and has more than 34,000 Employees systemwide.