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Southwest Airlines plans big Atlanta announcement | Business

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Southwest Airlines plans big Atlanta announcement

ATLANTA -- Southwest Airlines is planning to celebrate its first year of flying from Atlanta with a big announcement.

On Feb. 12, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Inc. plans to hold an event at the AirTran Corporate Center in College Park. A big announcement is anticipated that will further the airline's presence in Atlanta.

"This is the year where we really get to work on building Atlanta," Gary C. Kelly, CEO and president of Southwest, said in a Jan. 24 call with analysts. "And the nice thing is we've had just such a wonderful reception in the community. So we're very pleased with the reaction to the Southwest brand ... So we got a big year coming up, though, for Atlanta, no question."

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler will join Southwest executives including Jeff Lamb, senior vice president of administration and chief people officer, for the upcoming event.

Southwest Airlines began flights to and from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Feb. 12, 2012. The airline made its way to the city by acquiring Orlando, Fla.-based AirTran Airways for $1.4 billion in 2011.

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