In a three-airline town, the company with the heart logo is striving to show Denver who loves it the most. And it plans to demonstrate its affection by pumping $100 million into a new maintenance hangar at Denver International Airport.
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly opened his company’s annual shareholders meeting in Denver on Wednesday morning by describing the city as “without a doubt the fastest-growing city in the history” of the low-cost carrier.
Based in Dallas, Southwest first came to DIA in 2006, getting a modest start with only 13 daily departures and three nonstop destinations. By this August, the airline expects to offer 224 daily departures out of Denver to 70 nonstop destinations, Kelly said, with more routes on the way. The airline now employs about 4,200 people in the Denver area.
Among the employees are 75 maintenance staff members who are likely pretty pumped about the forthcoming hangar project Kelly announced Wednesday. For now, those workers mostly do their jobs outdoors, airlines officials said.