DALLAS, Feb. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) announced Chris Johnson as the new Managing Director Ground Operations effective February 1, 2018. Johnson will be responsible for the daily operations of a Team of more than 18,000 Employees who work in our domestic locations across the United States. His key responsibilities include ensuring these Employees have the resources and tools they need to deliver the safest, most reliable, and most hospitable airport experience. Johnson joined Southwest Airlines® in 1993 as a Ramp Agent in Detroit. Since that time, he has held Leadership positions across Southwest's Ground Operations network, most recently serving as the Senior Director over the Western Region of Ground Operations. "Chris's significant Leadership experience, operational expertise, tireless work ethic, and Servant's Heart will ensure his success in his new role," says Steve Goldberg, Senior Vice President Operations & Hospitality. "He cares deeply about our Employees as well as the Reliability of our service, which will serve him well in leading the daily operations of our Ground Operations Team." Johnson resides in Dallas and is the proud father of two daughters who are both Southwest Flight Attendants. ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. In its 47th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 56,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 120 million passengers annually, in recent years. Southwest became the nation's largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. During peak travel seasons, Southwest operates more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 100 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries. Southwest has announced its intention to sell tickets in 2018 for service to Hawaii, subject to requisite governmental approvals. Southwest coined Transfarency ® to describe its purposed philosophy of treating Customers honestly and fairly, and low fares actually staying low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free ® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some carriers offer free checked bags on select routes or in qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. As launch customer of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in North America, the Company operates the largest fleet in the world of Boeing aircraft, all of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi. Customers who connect to the WiFi network may use their personal devices to view on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV. With a bold new look first unveiled in 2014, Southwest is progressing through a multi-year refresh of its fleet to showcase the carrier's Heart: a new logo, aircraft livery, interior design featuring new seats, Employee-designed uniforms, and an updated airport experience, all of which showcase a dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what's important in their lives. From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. With 45 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at Southwest Airlines or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.