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Southwest Airlines to being Minneapolis-St. Paul service

Southwest Airlines begins Minneapolis-St. Paul service Sunday, making this launch for the company the first in a new city since August 2007.

Southwest will fly eight daily round-trip flights from MSP to Chicago's Midway Airport, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

"There's very high fares on that route. And there's as many people flying between those two cities as we serve between Dallas and Houston, maybe more," Gary Kelly, Southwest's chairman told USA Today.

The competition that Southwest will give Northwest Airlines has already lowered fares to Chicago, which, with over a million passengers a year, is the heaviest-traveled air round out of the Twin Cities, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Kelly told USA Today that the decision to move into the MSP market is not affiliated with the expected merger of Northwest Airlines and Delta.

Southwest is USA's leading discount airline and carries more domestic pasengers than any other airline, according to USA Today.