PANAMA CITY, Fla.–(Business Wire)–
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) today announced it will serve the new Northwest
Florida – Panama City International Airport when it opens in May 2010. Southwest
did not release specific service details, but said it would offer multiple
destinations from the first international airport to be opened in the nation in
more than a decade.
“We are very pleased to welcome Southwest Airlines to Northwest Florida,” said
Airport Authority Chairman Joe Tannehill. “One of our primary goals in
relocating our airport was to attract low-fare service to our region. With this
announcement, we have secured service from the world`s premier low-fare airline.
This is a great day for our entire region.”
Southwest Airlines is the nation`s low-fare airline, currently serving 65 cities
in 33 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates 3,300 flights a day
and has more than 35,000 employees system-wide. The airline said it would
provide more details of its future service from Northwest Florida in the coming
“Most people are familiar with the concept of the `Southwest Effect.` While it`s
impossible to put an exact number on the impact of this announcement, it`s big,”
said Tannehill. “Low-fare service will turbocharge our regional tourism industry
and economic development efforts. You don`t have to look any further than Fort
Myers to see what Southwest service can mean to a region.”
A number of local organizations have committed to helping launch the new
Southwest service. They include both the Bay and Walton County Commissions and
their respective Tourist Development Councils, which have also pledged marketing
support towards this effort, and Coastal Vision 3000, the Northwest Florida
business group which created the regional destination brand, THE Beach.
Additionally, The St. Joe Company (NYSE:JOE) has entered into a strategic
alliance with Southwest Airlines.
“Attracting Southwest Airlines has truly been a regional effort,” said
Tannehill. “And I believe this new low-fare service will benefit our region and
our local economy for decades to come.”
The Panama City Bay County International Airport
Randy Curtis, Executive Director, 850-763-6751
Copyright Business Wire 2009