Movement for International Flights at Houston Hobby

Houstonians & Travelers Rally for Hobby Intl Facility

Southwest Airlines is behind a rally of support for proposed new international service at William B. Hobby Airport (HOU).  Currently, Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is the only airport in Houston which allows for international flights.  What’s missing at Hobby is a Secure Federal Inspection Station (FIS).  A FIS essentially is a port of entry into the United States and other large, two-city airports, such as Chicago O’Hare and Chicago Midway, both have ports of entry.

Earlier in the year, Southwest, submitted a proposal to the city of Houston asking for approval to construct a new, five-gate international facility at Hobby Airport.  The proposed expansion would be paid by users of the facility and guaranteed by southwest.

A new international facility, according to a new third-party study released by the Houston Airport System (HAS), would create an economic impact for the City of Houston of more than $1.6 billion annually. The study, compiled by InterVISTAS Consulting LLC and GRA, Incorporated, reveals that with lower air fares and increased travel options, more than 1.5 million additional Passengers would travel each year and more than 10,000 jobs would be created across the Greater Houston metropolitan area.

The Free Hobby Airport Campaign

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Southwest Airlines is now providing a tool to Houstonians and International Travelers alike to voice their support. Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO, said, “Houston is one of Southwest Airlines’ three original cities and our roots in this community are strong and deep.” Kelly continued, “By taking action at www.freehobbyairport.com, Houstonians and all international travelers are saying they believe competition is a good thing, which will bring lower fares, stimulate travel demand, and create significant economic growth and job creation for the Houston metropolitan area.”

Visitors to www.freehobbyairport.com can voice their support to Houston’s City Council members for Southwest’s proposed international service and also learn more about the carrier’s commitment to the Houston community, additional information on the proposed service, and review the findings and recommendations of the Houston Airport System’s study.

Southwest & Hobby’s Texas & Latin America Roots

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Southwest has served Houston since June 18, 1971.  Hobby airport is home to Southwest Airlines in Houston, with nearly 3000 employees serving 134 flights each and every day.  The airports geographical location is convenient to the metro area’s burgeoning Hispanic population and provides a convenient gateway to more people wishing to travel to Mexico, the Caribbean, and parts of Central and South America.

If the facility is built, one can almost guarantee it will attract other airlines from Mexico and Latin America based on the dynamics of the area.   Mexico, for example, has a maturing low cost base of airlines from Interjet to Volaris, the latter being a codeshare partner with Southwest.

At this time sources indicate the international Hobby add-on may come up with a May 16 vote.

 

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