Southwest Airlines plans to begin flying out of O’Hare International Airport by the middle of next year, the airline announced Monday.



a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway: Southwest Airlines flights at Chicago Midway International AirportWednesday, July 15, 2020.


© E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Southwest Airlines flights at Chicago Midway International AirportWednesday, July 15, 2020.

The Dallas-based airline has served Midway Airport since 1985 but has never operated flights from O’Hare.

Southwest, which has 4,800 Chicago-based employees, said expanding to O’Hare will not change its service at Midway. Midway is usually among Southwest’s four busiest airports, with up to about 260 flights a day before the coronavirus pandemic slowed air travel, the airline said.

Southwest is also planning to add flights at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, where it already serves William P. Hobby Airport.

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said in a news release the expansion “furthers our commitment to both cities as we add service to share Southwest’s value and Hospitality with more leisure and business travelers.”

It was not immediately clear how many flights, or to which destinations, Southwest will introduce at O’Hare.

More to come.

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