HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Cheers, cake, and even a water cannon arch greeted passengers arriving on Southwest Flight 2207 at Hobby Airport Saturday afternoon. The flight departed from Aruba and touched down around 4:30 PM. It marks the first time in decades for international service at Hobby and hints at the expanded service in the works.
Houstonian and passenger Nkechi Morah said she did not even realized its significance when she booked the flight. She just got back from the tropical island on vacation and said she's excited to see more options at Hobby.
"I love it. I live in the Medical Center so this is so much closer for me. It's just easier," said Morah. "It's a smaller airport, easier to navigate. The construction is a little weird right now but it's still easier to get around than IAH all the time."
Southwest Airlines shelled out $157 million to build the Hobby Airport International Terminal. When opened, the 5 gate facility will help spring board the airlines' plan for more and more service to Central America.
Southwest officials said the airline will fly to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Belize. A city study predicated such an expansion will have a $1.7 billion impact to the Houston economy and create upwards of 10,000 jobs.