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Southwest Airlines Adds New Maintenance Facility at Houston Airport

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Southwest Airlines announced Wednesday it has opened a new maintenance facility at William P. Hobby International Airport in Houston.

The new maintenance complex measures 240,000 square feet and includes offices, training facilities, warehouse space and a 140,000-square-foot hangar. The building will be where nearly 400 Houston-based technical operations employees work.

Technicians will be able to work simultaneously on up to six 737 aircraft indoors, and the facility has space for an additional eight aircraft outside the hangar bays. In addition, Southwest is currently investing in aircraft maintenance facilities in Baltimore, Denver, Phoenix and more.

“This state-of-the-art hangar will support our technical operations team’s unwavering commitment to safety and maintaining our fleet to the highest standards,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said in a statement.

“I’m very proud of our hundreds of technical operations employees in Houston for the work they do every day to support our growing operation from Houston’s Hobby Airport, which includes almost 200 departures per day during peak seasons to nearly 70 destinations across the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean,” Kelly continued.

The news of Southwest’s commitment to Houston comes days after CEO Gary Kelly definitively swept aside speculation the airline was adding a basic economy fare during a weekly address to employees.

“I’m on the record many times saying that Southwest—at least as long as I’m around—will never do basic economy, so I’m on the record with that,” Kelly said.

Southwest also revealed in December it would be removing the grounded Boeing 737 MAX planes from its flight schedule through April 13.

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