Inaugural Festivities Culminate With Airport Celebration and News Conference
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, Minn. , March 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southwest Airlines today showed the Twin Cities what it means 'When LUV Comes to Town' as it celebrated the carrier's inaugural service to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Hundreds of Customers and Employees were on hand as Southwest Airlines' Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO Gary Kelly joined Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty , Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) Chairman Jack Lanners , Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak , and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman in a morning news conference at the Humphrey Terminal to launch the new service. To see Southwest Airlines' full MSP schedule or to book a flight to or from MSP, visit: http://www.southwest.com/?src=PRPRPRNGENR000000080808
"Southwest Airlines promises to bring low fares, great Customer Service, a strong commitment to the community, and of course, no Hidden Fees to the great folks of Minnesota," said Kelly. "Serving Minneapolis/St. Paul has been on our wishlist for quite some time, and it's a proud day for Southwest Airlines to finally begin flying to the Twin Cities."
Southwest Airlines celebrates the opening of its Minneapolis/St. Paul service today with eight daily nonstop flights to Chicago Midway, with additional direct or connecting service to 57 destinations, including: San Francisco , Denver , and Philadelphia . Southwest will operate from two gates in the convenient Humphrey Terminal.
Southwest Airlines is offering fares as low as
"The arrival of Southwest Airlines into Minnesota is a welcome boost to the state's economy during a very trying time," said Governor Pawlenty. "Southwest Airlines promises to bring more flight options and competition to MSP, which is good news for our entire state and our residents."
"For years, Southwest Airlines service to the Twin Cities has been only a hope and a goal that we continually sought to fulfill," said Chairman Lanners. "Now, I am pleased to say it is a reality. Southwest's ticket counters are staffed, its planes are on the ramp, and we look forward to a successful long-term relationship that benefits the airline, the airport, and the community."
"Minneapolis welcomes Southwest Airlines with open arms," said Minneapolis Mayor Rybak. "The Minneapolis metro areas attract over 18 million visitors annually, and the arrival of Southwest Airlines will no doubt increase the region's visibility and quest to become one of the most visited cities in the U.S."
"From a national political convention to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships to our world-renowned theater and arts, St. Paul welcomes visitors from around the nation throughout the year," said St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman . "Southwest Airlines will give more options to those visiting the Most Livable City in America and bring more money, more jobs, and more visitors to our great community."
This morning's press conference capped a weekend full of festivities celebrating the inaugural flights (Southwest officially launched service on Sunday, March 8 ). Dallas -based Southwest Airlines kicked the weekend off by bringing in approximately 2,300 pounds - more than a ton - of canned chili to donate to the Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank in recognition of Minnesota Food Share Month. Southwest Airlines also partnered with Cub Foods at ten local grocery stores on Sunday, offering shoppers a chance to win two roundtrip tickets in exchange for purchasing a
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The $8.5 million terminal had 600,000 square feet and boasted 24 gates on two concourses, or “piers,” when it opened in 1962.