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Houston Mayor Announces Support to "Free Hobby"

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The Honorable Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker announced her support of Southwest Airlines' (NYSE: LUV) proposal to construct a new five-gate international facility at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU).  Earlier this year, Southwest asked the City of Houston for permission to look into the construction of a five-gate international facility. The plan is to fly to destinations such as Mexico, the Caribbean and cities in Central and South America. 

Mayor Parker and Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO announced details of the agreement, which is still subject to approval from the Houston City Council. The proposal will be financed by Southwest Airlines at no cost to the city of Houston. No Passenger Facility Charges are required in the agreement, no debt will be issued by the City of Houston and no general revenue funds will be used as part of this arrangement.

"Today is a great day for Southwest Airlines, a great day for the city of Houston, and a great day for Houston's international travelers who have suffered for far too long from high fares and limited options," said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO. "I want to thank Mayor Parker for her support. There is still much work to do, but I believe our proposal shows that we are committed to bringing international service to Hobby, without the city taking on additional debt."

Southwest has served Houston since June 18, 1971. Hobby Airport is home to Southwest Airlines, with more than 2,700 Employees serving 134 flights every day. Upon approval by the Houston City Council, Southwest and the Houston Airport System would begin work immediately. The construction is expected to take a couple of years, with the facility ready to initiate international service sometime in 2015.