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Southwest Airlines Celebrates 10 Years at Denver International Airport

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Airline Forecasted to Serve its 100 Millionth DEN Passenger in January

DENVER – Jan. 7, 2016 – Today, Denver International Airport (DEN) CEO Kim Day joined with Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO Gary Kelly to celebrate 10 years of the airline serving passengers at DEN.

Southwest Airlines began service at DEN on Jan. 3, 2006 with 13 daily departures to three U.S. cities; Las Vegas, Phoenix and Chicago/Midway. A decade later, the carrier will operate 198 daily departures to 62 destinations in the U.S. and Mexico by June 2016, making Denver the fastest-growing Southwest Airlines airport in the carrier’s history.

“We are proud of our continuing strong partnership with Southwest Airlines, which has recommitted itself to the Denver market by adding more flights and more capacity than any other airline in the past year,” said airport CEO Kim Day. “Today, Denver ranks as the fourth-largest operation for Southwest, which continues to experience steady growth and strength in the competitive Denver market. We wish Southwest Airlines a happy anniversary as we look forward to a bright future together.”

At the end of 2006, Southwest Airlines represented 5 percent of the market share at DEN. Today, the airline has grown to 30 percent of the market share at the airport. Additionally, Southwest Airlines is forecasting that it will serve its 100 millionth passenger at DEN later this month.

“Our ten-year run in the Mile High City is one for the Southwest Airlines record books,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO. “We’re proud of what we’ve been able to achieve here in Denver, and we’ve done so by remaining true to our core values of low fares, reliability, and great Customer Service.”

Some notable moments in Southwest Airlines’ history in Denver include:

  • Oct. 20, 2005 – Southwest announces that it will begin service from DEN in early 2006
  • Jan. 3, 2006 – Southwest Airlines launches its inaugural service to Denver with 13 daily departures to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Chicago/Midway
  • June 3, 2010 – The annual Denver Chalk Art Festival brings a dozen artists to create chalk art on the ramp adjacent to two Southwest gates at DEN
  • November 26, 2010 – The Southwest Rink at Skyline Park opens to the public next to the historic Daniels & Fisher Tower
  • Feb. 3, 2012 – Southwest and AirTran announce route authority approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for AirTran to operate new international flights between Denver International Airport and Cancun International Airport
  • Aug. 22, 2012 — Colorado One, a Boeing 737-700 emblazoned with an artist’s rendition of the Colorado state flag, is unveiled at a ceremony at DEN
  • Oct. 1, 2012 – Southwest opens its newest Pilot Crew base at DEN, home to 250 pilots and 400 flight attendants
  • Dec. 26, 2012 – Southwest announces new international service from DEN to Las Cabos International Airport in Mexico
  • Jan. 3, 2016 – Southwest celebrates 10 years of service at DEN

Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. For more information visit www.FlyDenver.com, check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for DEN’s monthly newsletter Nonstop News.


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Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. Follow us on socials!