Southwest Airlines has opened a maintenance facility at William P Hobby International Airport in Texas, US.

The 240,000ft² maintenance complex has become the airline’s largest facility. It features offices, training facilities, warehouse space and a 140,000ft² hangar facility for technical operations.

The new facility enables around 400 technical operations employees in Houston to simultaneously work indoors on six 737 aircraft. It can also accommodate eight additional aircraft outside the bays.

This new facility replaces the previous airline’s facility, which was opened in 1988.

Southwest Airlines chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said: “This state-of-the-art hangar will support our technical operations team’s unwavering commitment to safety and maintaining our fleet to the highest standards.

“I’m very proud of our hundreds of technical operations employees in Houston for the work they do every day to support our growing operation from Houston’s Hobby Airport, which includes almost 200 departures per day during peak seasons to nearly 70 destinations across the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.”

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Mayor Sylvester Turner said: “We thank Southwest Airlines for its nearly 50-year partnership and commitment to the Houston community.

“Between the direct employment of 5,000 local residents, continued growth in flight activity and this investment in infrastructure, the airline represents $3bn in economic impact for Houston each year, and that’s something that makes us proud and thankful.”

Southwest Airlines has invested in aircraft maintenance build-outs at Denver International Airport and Baltimore / Washington International Airport.

With the two projects, the airline will have eight maintenance facilities across the US.

In addition, the airline is expanding its maintenance facility at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona.