DALLAS, March 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) is excited to announce that LUV has officially landed in Branson, Missouri! The Branson Community rolled out the red carpet today as Congressman Billy Long joined the Branson Airport in welcoming Southwest's first Customers to Branson.
Southwest attributes its entrance into the market to the roots planted by its wholly-owned subsidiary AirTran Airways. AirTran began service to the market in 2009 and currently serves one nonstop flight to Atlanta. Southwest will increase service options for Branson Customers by offering three daily nonstop flights to Dallas Love Field, Houston Hobby, and Chicago Midway, with additional Saturday-only nonstop service to Orlando. The introduction of Southwest's larger Boeing 737 aircraft to the market means that passenger seat availability will increase, providing Branson Customers greater access to the airline's vast network.
"Our arrival in Branson represents one of the true benefits of our integration with AirTran Airways, allowing us to continue providing low fares and legendary Customer Service to the People of Missouri," said Rick Pelc, Southwest Airlines Station Director. "We're excited to provide our Southern Missouri Customers access to a broad network of destinations, and just as important, allowing better access to Branson for our existing Customers across America."
The Branson Airport celebrated the Southwest inaugural service today with a press conference and a tailgate party to welcome the airline's first Customers to Branson. Community Members joined the Branson Airport to celebrate the long-anticipated arrival of Southwest Airlines and its Employees to the market. Southwest also showed its passion for the community by joining the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Missouri to help make a child's wish come true. Southwest and the Southwest region of Make-A-Wish Missouri will help send five-year-old Kyah to San Diego to visit the zoo.
Southwest Airlines' inflight publication Spirit Magazine is celebrating the new service with its Customers nationwide by launching an enter-to-win sweepstakes for a chance to win a six-night Branson Travel Package! The package includes two roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines, free hotel stays, dining gift certificates, show tickets, and more! To enter, visit www.spiritmag.com and register by March 31, 2013. Rules and restrictions apply.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 42nd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by nearly 46,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating passengers boarded, and including wholly-owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways, operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve 97 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and six near-international countries. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line thinking that takes into account the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of the People who work there and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the Planet. The 2011 Southwest Airlines One Report' can be found at southwest.com/citizenship.
From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel quantified by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. On every flight, Southwest offers Customers the first two pieces of checked luggage (weight and size limitations apply) and all ticket changes without additional fees. Southwest's all Boeing fleet consistently offers leather seating and the comfort of full-size cabins, many of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi connectivity and a new, sustainable cabin interior. With 40 consecutive years of profitability, the People of Southwest operate more than 3,200 flights a day and serve communities around 78 airports in Southwest's network of domestic destinations. Southwest Airlines' frequent flights and low fares are available only at southwest.com.
AirTran Airways, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co., offers coast-to-coast and near-international service with close to 600 flights a day to 54 destinations. The carrier's high-quality product includes assigned seating and Business Class. As Southwest continues to integrate AirTran's People, places, and planes into Southwest Airlines, Customers of both carriers may book flights at airtran.com and exchange earned loyalty points between both AirTran's A+ Rewards® and Southwest's Rapid Rewards® for reward travel on either airline.
ABOUT THE BRANSON AIRPORT
The Branson Airport currently has 5 nonstop destinations and one stop connecting service to more than 100 major cities in the United States. Nonstop destinations include: Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Orlando on Southwest Airlines; and Denver on Frontier Airlines. For a complete list of destinations available at the Branson Airport, visit www.FlyBranson.com.
Known for the unique airport experience and unparalleled customer service, Branson Airport LLC is the first privately developed and operated commercial service airport in the United States. Branson Airport is currently serviced by Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Branson AirExpress (a seasonal chartered service); allowing passengers the ability to access over 100 destinations all on low cost carriers. Located in the heart of the Ozarks and centrally located in the Midwest, the airport also boasts a state of the art FBO, Branson JetCenter and a full service travel agency, FlyBranson Travel. For more information visit www.FlyBranson.com or call toll free 1-888-FLY-BKG1 (1-888-359-2541).
ABOUT THE MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION OF MISSOURI
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Missouri, visit www.mo.wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®
SOURCE Southwest Airlines