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LUV Lands In Branson! Southwest Airlines Converts AirTran Airways Service, Adding 79th Destination To Route Map

DALLAS, March 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) is excited to announce that LUV has officially landed in Branson, Missouri!  The Branson Community rolled out the red carpet today as Congressman Billy Long joined the Branson Airport in welcoming Southwest's first Customers to Branson.

Southwest attributes its entrance into the market to the roots planted by its wholly-owned subsidiary AirTran Airways.  AirTran began service to the market in 2009 and currently serves one nonstop flight to Atlanta.  Southwest will increase service options for Branson Customers by offering three daily nonstop flights to Dallas Love Field, Houston Hobby, and Chicago Midway, with additional Saturday-only nonstop service to Orlando.  The introduction of Southwest's larger Boeing 737 aircraft to the market means that passenger seat availability will increase, providing Branson Customers greater access to the airline's vast network.

"Our arrival in Branson represents one of the true benefits of our integration with AirTran Airways, allowing us to continue providing low fares and legendary Customer Service to the People of Missouri," said Rick Pelc, Southwest Airlines Station Director.  "We're excited to provide our Southern Missouri Customers access to a broad network of destinations, and just as important, allowing better access to Branson for our existing Customers across America."   

The Branson Airport celebrated the Southwest inaugural service today with a press conference and a tailgate party to welcome the airline's first Customers to Branson.  Community Members joined the Branson Airport to celebrate the long-anticipated arrival of Southwest Airlines and its Employees to the market.  Southwest also showed its passion for the community by joining the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Missouri to help make a child's wish come true.  Southwest and the Southwest region of Make-A-Wish Missouri will help send five-year-old Kyah to San Diego to visit the zoo.

Southwest Airlines' inflight publication Spirit Magazine is celebrating the new service with its Customers nationwide by launching an enter-to-win sweepstakes for a chance to win a six-night Branson Travel Package!  The package includes two roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines, free hotel stays, dining gift certificates, show tickets, and more!  To enter, visit and register by March 31, 2013.  Rules and restrictions apply.

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