Southwest Airlines honors its New Orleans service

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has celebrated the state of Louisiana, thanking Customers and Employees for supporting its 39 years of service in New Orleans with the carrier´s latest state-dedicated aircraft–Louisiana One–a Boeing 737-700, emblazoned with an artist´s rendition of the Louisiana State flag, the company said.

Southwest began service to New Orleans in 1979, marking the airline´s first destination served beyond its home state of Texas. Southwest today honored Employees and Customers in true New Orleans fashion with a Mardi Gras-inspired celebration kicked off by local musicians. Kelly unveiled the state-dedicated aircraft during an event held at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, following a traditional second line band which led community members, partners, Employees and state and local government officials to where Louisiana One was secretly positioned.

Southwest began service in New Orleans on Jan. 25, 1979, with one daily nonstop departure to Houston (Hobby). The airline currently operates more than 50 daily nonstop departures to 21 destinations from New Orleans.

In its 47th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 56,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 120 million passengers annually, in recent years. Southwest became the nation´s largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the US Department of Transportation´s most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded.