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Southwest Airlines Plans $100M Maintenance Hangar In Denver

DENVER (CBSDFW.COM/AP) —  Southwest Airlines says it will build a $100 million maintenance hangar at the Denver International Airport.

Southwest Airlines - New Logo - Jet - Plane
(credit: Southwest Airlines)

The Denver Post reports the Dallas-based airline announced plans Wednesday for the 130,000-square-foot hangar that can fit three Boeing 737 aircraft.

Southwest aims to complete construction before the end of 2020.

The hangar will be the seventh in airline's maintenance network. It currently has facilities in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and Orlando, Florida.

Southwest employs about 4,200 people in the Denver area, including 75 maintenance workers.

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly says the airline expects to have 224 daily departures from Denver by August, with more routes planned.

He says the hangar is evidence of the airline investment into the community.

A spike in Southwest Airlines planes ruled out of service for mechanical issues cost the carrier millions this year because of delayed and canceled flights.

The financial damage even prompted CEO Gary Kelly to file a lawsuit against the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association.

The lawsuit accused the union of encouraging mechanics to write up issues that Southwest said have no effect on the safety of flights in order to gain leverage on in ongoing contract negotiations.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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