Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has issued this statement concerning the City of Dallas and Delta Air Lines (Atlanta):
Southwest supports the City’s efforts to manage Love Field in accordance with its obligations under airline leases and the Wright Amendment Reform Act. Southwest disagrees with guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding the use of Love Field gates by non-tenant airlines like Delta. That guidance not only violates Southwest’s legal and contractual rights but would also reduce competition, costing consumers millions of dollars in higher airfares.
Delta’s temporary license to use gate space at Dallas Love Field expires at midnight on July 6, 2015. Beginning August 9, Southwest will fully utilize its 18 Love Field gates by operating 180 flights a day to 50 nonstop destinations resulting in an industry-leading gate utilization of ten flights a day per gate. Southwest will therefore be unable to accommodate any other airline, including Delta, on its gates after that date. Tickets on these Southwest flights have been for sale to our Customers since February or earlier.
The lawsuit filed by the City of Dallas allows the City and Southwest to ask the court to properly interpret applicable law as well as the contractual agreements entered into by the City and Southwest relating to Love Field, which clearly give Southwest the right to expand upon and maximize the usage of its leased gates in the best interest of the citizens of Dallas. Every other air carrier serving North Texas, including Delta, can grow without restriction at DFW Intl. Airport, which Delta currently serves. Southwest is restricted from growing beyond its 18 Love Field gates, which is a small fraction of the total 185 gates in the Dallas Ft. Worth market.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-76N N7705A (msn 32744) prepares to land in Las Vegas.