HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Southwest Airlines is expanding its footprint across the country, and Houston will soon see those iconic airplanes at both major airports.
The Texas-based carrier announced its return to Bush Intercontinental Airport with 18 new flights beginning April 12, 2021.
Service from IAH will include non-stop flights to Chicago Midway, Dallas Love Field, Denver, Nashville and New Orleans each day.
Southwest is no stranger to the gates of IAH.
The airline first landed there when it began operating in 1971 and remained a fixture until 1972. It returned in 1980 and served the facility until 2005.
Southwest is the largest airline operating out of Houston Hobby Airport with as many as 161 daily flights. The airline plans to operate at both Houston airports.
Southwest's impact on Houston is significant. According to the airline, it provides nearly 4,000 jobs to the city.
The airline also plans to add Jackson, Mississippi, to its list of destinations in June, with non-stop connections to Houston Hobby, Atlanta and Baltimore/Washington. Long Beach, California, will also be added to the growing footprint, and will connect to Houston Hobby and four other cities. The carrier plans to add Miami and Sarasota, Florida, as sites in the coming year.
Bookings are being accepted now on the Southwest Airlines website.
The video above is from previous reporting.