CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The first direct flights from Corpus Christi to Dallas Love Field aboard Southwest Airlines took off Saturday.

Once a week on Saturday there will be flights going directly to Dallas. The last Southwest direct flight to Dallas happened in 1986.

According to a Southwest spokesperson, the change boils down to increased demand, and they may add more flights in the future if the market continues to grow. Any increase in people using the Corpus Christi International Airport may ultimately attract even more airlines and routes.

"We understand why sometimes people choose to fly out of San Antonio or Houston. We understand that there's sometimes a difference in airfare, but we ask people to keep in mind that if you want more service out of Corpus Christi International Airport, we have to use the service that we have here," Marketing Manager Kim Bridger-Hunt said.

Before Saturday, passengers flying Southwest out of the Corpus Christi International Airport have to stop off in Houston before continuing their trip to Dallas.

Southwest considers Corpus Christi a gateway to tourist destinations along the Gulf Coast, including Port Aransas, Mustang Island, and North Padre Island.

The new route was revealed Feb. 4 as part of Southwest's latest schedule extension, which included seven seasonal Saturday-only routes around the country that are now operating.

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