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"Southwest will pay for $100M expansion in Houston"
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Southwest to pay $100 million to expand Houston airport
Southwest Airlines Co has agreed to invest $100 million to expand Houston's
William Hobby Airport as it looks to offer international flights to Mexico,
the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Mayor of Houston Annise Parker on Wednesday detailed a deal with the carrier
that requires Southwest to design and build five new gates and a customs
facility at Hobby in line with city specifications.
In return for its investment, Dallas-based Southwest would have preferential
scheduling rights and would pay no rent for its use of international gates
or the customs facility, according to a statement from the City of Houston.
Southwest earlier this year asked Houston officials for permission to study
construction of an international facility at Hobby, where it has operated
The Hobby expansion, which requires Houston City Council approval, would
likely take two years, with international flights likely to begin in 2015,
Southwest's plans for Hobby have been opposed by United Continental
Holdings, which released a report earlier this month saying international
service at Hobby would drain passengers from George Bush Intercontinental
Airport and lead to job losses. George Bush is the largest hub for United.
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