Dallas Files Suit in Love Field Gate Dispute

By Paul Riegler on 19 June 2015
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Delta is at the center of the dispute

Delta is at the center of the dispute

The city of Dallas filed suit against two federal agencies and six airlines in an effort to settle the question of which airlines can fly out of Love Field on Wednesday.  The airport, which has limited gate space, is valued for its proximity to central Dallas.

Currently, Southwest Airlines controls 18 of the 20 gates at the city-owned airport.  Delta Air Lines is operating five daily flights from a Southwest gate, but that is slated to end on July 6.

The Department of Transportation told the city in a letter on Monday that it “has the legal obligation to reasonably accommodate all air carriers seeking to provide service at Love Field.”  The city has taken the stance that a 2006 federal law and an agreement between Southwest, American Airlines, and the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth would take precedence.

In response to the letter, the city filed suit against the DOT, the Federal Aviation Administration, Delta, Southwest, Virgin America, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Seaport Airlines, contending that threats from regulators and airlines “have put the City in an impossible situation” that needs to be resolved in a federal court.

The other two gates at Love Field were operated by American Airlines, which gave them up as a condition of its 2013 merger with US Airways.  They are currently operated by Virgin America, which began operations there in October 2014.  While Delta and American both fly into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where American is the dominant carrier, Southwest and Virgin only have a presence at Love Field.

Delta has flown from the airport since 2008, and used gate space leased from American Airlines until American gave up the gates.   The airline has threatened to sue the city of Dallas multiple times over the issue, saying it “remains committed to serving its North Texas customers at both Love Field and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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