Southwest Airlines opens USD 125m new maintenance hangar in Houston

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has announced it officially opened a new USD 125m maintenance facility at William P. Hobby International Airport, the company said.

The 240,000 square foot maintenance complex, now the largest in the airline´s network, includes offices, training facilities, warehouse space, and a 140,000 square foot hangar. This allows for the nearly 400 Houston based Technical Operations Employees to work simultaneously on up to six 737 aircraft indoors and has space for an additional eight aircraft outside the hangar bays. It replaces Southwest´s smaller Technical Operations facility at Hobby Airport, which opened in 1988.

The airline is currently investing in aircraft maintenance buildouts at Baltimore/Washington International Airport and Denver International Airport, as well as an expansion of its maintenance facility at Phoenix´s Sky Harbor International Airport. Including the projects in Denver and Baltimore, the airline expects to have eight maintenance hangars throughout the United States.

In its 49th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with Customer Service delivered by more than 60,000 employees to a customer base topping 130 million passengers annually. 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.