Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds Welcome Southwest Airlines to Iowa

Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today welcomed the news that Southwest Airlines, along with its wholly-owned subsidy, AirTran Airways, confirmed today the intent to convert AirTran Airways operations at 22 domestic and international airports to Southwest operations over time.

Des Moines International Airport was one of the cities listed in their announcement.

Gov. Branstad and his administration have been in contact with Southwest Airlines executives since taking office last January, hoping to persuade them to bring their air service to Des Moines.

Additionally, Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds requested the support of Attorney General Eric Holder to approve Southwest’s acquisition of AirTran Airways last March.

“This is a great day for Iowa,” said Gov. Branstad. “My administration has worked extensively to establish a permanent presence for Southwest in Iowa, and we are pleased that they recognized the great opportunity the state of Iowa provides.”

The lieutenant governor added, “This will make Iowa’s airfares less expensive, and more competitive with surrounding metro airports. Iowa’s employers and residents will benefit greatly as a result of this announcement.”