Southwest Airlines will begin service at Pensacola International Airport (PNS) later this year. Pensacola International is currently served by AirTran Airways, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest.



“By the end of the year, we will see Southwest jets landing at Pensacola International Airport,” said Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward.



In 2011, Southwest completed the purchase of AirTran Airways, which has served Pensacola since 2001. Southwest announced in January 2012 that it intended to convert Pensacola’s AirTran operations to Southwest over time.



Southwest announced their flight schedule for the remainder of 2013, including nonstop service from Pensacola to Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) and Nashville International Airport (BNA), slated to begin by November. As a result of its decision to transition Atlanta from a hub to a focus city, Southwest is expected to phase out service from Pensacola to Atlanta.



The new Southwest service will represent a 22% increase in seat capacity over AirTran’s existing service, and the number of one-stop destinations served will increase from 53 to 65.