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Southwest to launch new route from Bob Hope Airport

Southwest Airlines officials announced that they’d been spurred to launch a new route from the Burbank airfield that’s set to begin in June, their second new route at the airfield being added in 2016.

Southwest Airlines officials announced that they’d been spurred to launch a new route from the Burbank airfield that’s set to begin in June, their second new route at the airfield being added in 2016.

(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

Officials at Bob Hope Airport have been working to roundup more airline service by, among other things, highlighting the benefits of the facility, such as its quick loading and unloading at the gates.

Tuesday morning Southwest Airlines officials announced that they’d been spurred to launch a new route from the Burbank airfield that’s set to begin in June, their second new route at the airfield being added in 2016.

Officials from the airport and Southwest appeared at Bob Hope Airport’s Terminal A, along with five members of the John Burroughs High School Powerhouse choir, who sat on bales of hay in front of the Southwest ticket counter. Burbank Mayor Bob Frutos and Vice Mayor Jess Talamantes were also on hand.

Dressed in denim and plaid, with pigtails, bandannas and boots, the choir sang “Beautiful Texas” by former Texas Gov. Wilbert Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel.

“We’re really excited and we want to thank the Burbank airport for their hospitality,” said Mike Sikes, senior manager for network planning and performance for Southwest, adding that the airport provides the airline’s customers with convenience and good customer service.

“So, with no further ado,” Sikes said, turning and sticking a shiny red heart on a poster of the Lone Star State — the new destination was written on the heart in black ink: Dallas.

He said Southwest is excited to connect its hometown airport — Dallas Love Field — with “Hollywood’s hometown airport.”

Bob Hope Airport Executive Director Dan Feger touted the Burbank airfield’s proximity to attractions in the Los Angeles area, such as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, which will now be “easily accessible to the Dallas market.”

Universal announced this week that the Harry Potter attraction will open on April 7, a couple months before the Dallas route is set to start. Tickets went on sale Tuesday morning at www.southwest.com.

“The timing for this new Southwest service couldn’t be better,” Feger said.

The daily flight will depart Burbank at 7:10 a.m. and arrive at Love Field just after noon local time. The return flight will depart Dallas at 7 p.m. and arrive at Bob Hope Airport a little after 8 p.m.

Lucy Burghdorf, the airport’s spokeswoman, said that American Airlines had previously offered service to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, but shuttered that route in February 2012 after its parent company filed for bankruptcy.

Southwest began service at Burbank 25 years ago with 12 flights daily to Las Vegas, but the new route brings its schedule to more than 40 flights serving eight destinations. In June, the airline announced a new nonstop to San Francisco International Airport, which begins next month, its first new route at Burbank since 2011 when it added service to Denver.

To cap off the announcement, the Powerhouse choir members gathered again in front of the hay bales. Tapping their feet and clapping their hands, they sang: “The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.”

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Chad Garland, chad.garland@latimes.com

Twitter: @chadgarland


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