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Southwest to hold 2018 shareholder meeting in Annapolis

Southwest Airlines planes. (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)

Southwest Airlines planes. (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)

Southwest Airlines will hold its annual meeting in Annapolis this year, a sign of Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport’s hub status for the airline.

The Historic Inns of Annapolis will welcome somewhere between 50 and 150 people to Maryland’s capital for the May 16 meeting.

“The region plays a critically important role in the Southwest network, and we have a large presence and wonderful relationships with community partners in Maryland — as well as a growing employee base,” said Chris Mainz, a Southwest spokesman. “We are the largest airline at Baltimore/Washington International Airport, so it was an easy decision to host our meeting in beautiful Annapolis this year.”

The Dallas-based airline has taken to moving its annual shareholder meeting around the country in recent years. Other destinations have included Houston, Chicago and Phoenix last year.

While hosting the meeting is a sign of the market’s importance to Southwest, it is unlikely to make a significant economic impact.

“It’s a fairly small, routine business meeting — so in and of itself probably not,” Mainz said. “But it’s a sign of a commitment to the host city where we have a large and growing presence.”

By daily departures, Baltimore is Southwest’s second-busiest airport. It offers up to 227 flights a day to 64 cities, including 10 daily nonstop departures to Chicago and Cleveland.

The airline is also a significant employer in Maryland. At BWI, the company employs nearly 4,800 people.

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