Southwest Expands Service to Pensacola

Tuesday, May 7, 2013  |  Updated 3:28 PM CDT
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Southwest Expands Service to Pensacola

AP

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Southwest Airlines will begin offering flights from Pensacola International Airport to Nashville and Houston.

The company announced Monday that it will offer two, daily nonstop flights to Nashville and one to Houston beginning Nov. 3

The city had courted Southwest for years, but the airline opted to expand services to other destinations, including Panama City.

The president of the greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce told the Pensacola News Journal (http://on.pnj.com/141iJMf ) that the airline's announcement was a big win for the city.

"Clearly Southwest does not enter markets they view as stagnant," Jim Hizer said. "It's a feather in our cap that Southwest views Pensacola as an attractive market."

In 2009, local officials launched an impassioned campaign to lure Southwest to Pensacola, but the city eventually lost out to Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Panama City.

But Southwest agreed to pick up AirTran's three daily flights out of Pensacola in 2012 after Southwest acquired that airline.

That announcement fueled hope that Southwest would expand its services in Pensacola.

"We didn't want them to even think about leaving our market for a second," Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward told the newspaper.

The company also announced Monday that it will end its daily Atlanta flights to Pensacola on Nov. 2.

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