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T.F. Green Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Southwest Airlines

Carrier launches new nonstop service to Reagan National Airport on Nov. 6

Warwick, RI (October 27, 2016) – Southwest Airlines, the largest carrier at Green Airport (PVD), is celebrating its 20th anniversary serving Rhode Island this month.  Southwest, which selected PVD as its entrée into New England in 1996, forever changed the dynamics of air service in Rhode Island and the region.  The “Southwest effect” spurred incredible growth and competition in a short period of time and put Green Airport on the map.  Customers would drive from as far away as New York to fly on the new carrier at the time.

Iftikhar Ahmad, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) said, “We extend our congratulations to Southwest on the 20th anniversary of uninterrupted service at Green Airport.  The airline continues to be a valued business and travel partner with their recent announcement of new flights to Washington, DC starting November 6.  It is our hope this is the first of other new markets the airline will offer.”

In reflecting on this 20 year partnership, Governor Gina Raimondo, said, “On behalf of the state of Rhode Island, I want to congratulate Southwest Airlines on this anniversary and thank the airline for its investment in our state.  Cumulatively, they have flown millions of visitors to Rhode Island and have had a substantial role in job creation over these two decades.”

Southwest started service with only one available gate in 1996 when the new terminal opened, but due to the overwhelming customer response, they quickly required more space.  Within 6 months, a four-gate expansion was planned for the north concourse. It was a phenomenal time for the airport and the airline.   Over the years the airline would grow from 14 to over 36 daily departures.  Although the carrier has since spread its service among other airports in the region, it still carries the most passengers at Green. 

Jonathan Savage, RIAC board chair, said, “On behalf of our board, I thank Southwest for its longstanding commitment to Green Airport.   We truly value their service and hope to see continued growth in the coming years”.      

“20 years ago, Southwest’s entry into T.F. Green created a linchpin in our service by anchoring our initial growth into the Northeast,” said Adam Decaire, Managing Director, Network Planning. “And two decades later our local and inbound Customers continue to experience the same world famous value and service that Southwest® consistently brings with no change fees and up to two bags that fly free.”

Green (PVD), located 8 miles south of Providence in Warwick, Rhode Island, is the 3rd largest airport in New England, with a catchment area that attracts passengers from nearby Massachusetts and southeastern Connecticut. Almost two-thirds (64%) of New England’s population lives within 75 miles of Green, and 25% of the US population lives within 500 miles of PVD.

Airlines serving Green:  American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United.  International service includes TACV, which flies year round from PVD to Cabo Verde and Azores Airlines with seasonal service to Ponta Delgada, Azores.  Cargo carriers, Fed Ex and UPS, round out the service.  MBTA commuter rail service connects PVD to Boston.  Visit www.pvdairport.com

Contact:  Patti Goldstein, Sr. VP Marketing and Communications 401-691-2272 or [email protected]

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