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Southwest Announces Dallas Love Plans for Two Open Gates

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Southwest Announces Dallas Love Plans for Two Open Gates

Southwest Announces Dallas Love Plans for Two Open Gates
March 10
15:36 2014

MIAMI — Southwest Airlines announced plans for up to twenty new flights out of Dallas Love Field’s hotly contested two open gates on Monday. Both gates are required to be divested by American Airlines as part of a merger settlement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

Should it prove victorious, the carrier would add service to twenty destinations per day. Twelve of them would be new. The list includes Charlotte, Charleston, Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis, Minneapolis, Newark, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Seattle. It has not shared information on what the other eight destinations would be.

The carrier contended, in a press release, that of the 175 total gates serving the Dallas region (155 at DFW and 20 at Dallas Love), Southwest would maintain a paltry share of 10% even if it would the two gates. Other carriers have pointed to the virtual monopoly Southwest would maintain of the airfield, solidifying its position beyond the majority it has already.

Unlike other carriers, Southwest does not have the ability to move easily to neighboring Dallas DFW airport to expand thanks to continuing Wright Amendment restrictions. It may do so, but only if it gives up gates at Love Field.

Both gates were pried out of the hands of American Airlines by the DOJ as part of a merger settlement. They have since become two of the most hotly contested commodities on the US domestic aviation scene. Though Southwest has made its intentions to compete for the gates clear before today, Delta and Virgin America have already announced hard plans for the airport.

Delta went first, announcing its plans back in November 2013. If awarded the win, it would primarily bulk up flying to its many hubs. It has gone as far as to sell tickets for the flights, despite having not won the gates.

Virgin America followed last week, announcing plans to turn the airport into its first focus city. If Virgin, which like Southwest has already taken home several wins in the DOJ divestitures saga, were successful it would add flights to Chicago, New York LaGuardia, LAX, San Francisco, and Washington Reagan.

Between the three plans no one destination appears on all three lists. Detroit, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis/St Paul appear on two of three, while the rest appear only on one.

The DOJ has not set a timeline on making a decision.

Separately, Southwest also shared that it would begin new service from Dallas-Love to Boston, Oakland, Panama City Beach, Portland, and San Jose in 2015. The new destinations will be implemented regardless of the DOJ decision on the two open gates. The carrier announced its first post-Wright Amendment flight restriction destinations last month, on February 3rd.

 

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