Southwest Airlines gets Houston Hobby Airport expansion endorsement

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Southwest Airlines recently announced its plan to upgrade Houston’s Hobby Airport has been endorsed. The airline has promised to pay for $100 million in airport improvements so that it can launch Southwest Airlines flights on international routes from Hobby Airport. The plan was vigorously objected by United Airlines.

The airline in a statement said that after its pledge Houston Mayor Annise Parker endorsed the expansion of Hobby Airport. According to the airline, Hobby Airport is smaller than Bush Intercontinental Airport but closer to downtown.  The deal is yet to be approved by the Houston City Council.

The Mayor has indicated that customs and other facilities could be built at Hobby with no city debt or special taxes on passengers. The endorsement by the Mayor is also a major boost for Southwest Airlines that could help it win a battle against United Airlines, which currently flies to U.S. and international destinations from its Bush Intercontinental Airport hub. United Airlines has been arguing that Southwest Airlines’ plan may jeopardize growth at Bush Intercontinental Airport and cost local jobs.

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