Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hobby to become Hobby International (Updated)

According to the Chron in a deal reached between the Mayor's office and SWA...

In a news conference at Hobby Airport, Mayor Annise Parker announced Wednesday that Southwest Airlines will pay the estimated $100 million cost for a five-gate expansion at Hobby that would provide international flights

All that remains is a City Council vote on the issue, which should be a rubber stamp since SWA is apparently going to pick up the cost of expansion and FAA clearance, which I can't see being a problem. That emphasized bit is from me, because ChronBlog's reporting on the issue was incorrect in stating that user fees would pay, at least, a portion. It now appears that SWA is going all-in.

On the final analysis I agree with Stephen.  I'm ambivalent more than anything.  It's not a financial spend of the City so I'm happy about that but I worry about the long-term viability of IAH as a 1st tier International gateway.

I still don't like the "exclusive use" agreement (which effectively eliminates competition for SWA at Hobby) and there's still the issue of those empty International gates at IAH but still, what's done is done.

And this is done.  Let's see if that $188 rate to Bogota surfaces any time soon.


Good Gawd we're using this logic as the basis of major, City altering deals?

Hobby on Hobby. Chris Moran, ChronBlog.

“Continental, or United, has been very concerned about job losses in Houston. They weren’t so concerned about job losses when they moved their headquarters to Chicago,” Hobby said.
United insists that it still has about 17,000 employees in Houston, just as the two companies did before their merger in 2010. But the merged company moved 1,500 corporate jobs from Houston to Chicago.

It’s been a sore point for Houstonians and one that Councilman Andrew Burks has called the company out on at least twice from the dais at meetings. At one point during the May 8 face-off between the United and Southwest airlines before Council, Burks barked at United executives: “Why did you buy Continental Airlines? Why did you do it?”

Houston is coming across in all of this looking like a petulant, spoiled child who's throwing a fit because they didn't get their way.  This deal has been described as Annise Parker's legacy maker.  I wonder what type of legacy it will be?

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