For the first time in its 43-year history, Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV ) will begin offering international flights to the Caribbean, Mexico, and several South American cities once construction on its new terminal at the William P. Hobby airport in Houston is complete, the company announced today.
Southwest began construction on the new international terminal today, following a groundbreaking ceremony that included Houston Mayor Annise Parker. Southwest is funding the entire $156 million project, which, according to Southwest's statement referencing a study that concluded last year, will create as many as 10,000 jobs in the Houston area.
Gary Kelly, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, said, "With this new international terminal, we are not only literally breaking ground at Hobby Airport, we are charting new territory for our Company and for low-cost and high-value air travel."
The new terminal is expected to be completed and ready for Southwest to begin offering international flights in late 2015, according to the company's statement.