The battle continues between Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines at Dallas Love Field, over use of Gate 15, and which carrier is able to use it. Southwest technically has the lease on the gate, however Delta is arguing its unfair competition as Southwest controls the majority of the airport. The airlines are headed back to court on September 26, to continue this battle.
Per the Dallas Business Journal,
Southwest Airlines and Delta have received a Sept. 26 court date for oral arguments to a federal appeals panel in the carriers’ feud over gate space at Dallas’ Love Field.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals notified lawyers for both airlines Monday.
Love Field, owned by the city of Dallas, is constrained to 20 gates under the terms of the Wright Amendment Reform Act. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) controls 18 of the 20 gates.
The dispute centers around Gate 15, which Southwest and Atlanta-based Delta (NYSE: DAL) have been sharing for more than a year.
Southwest paid $120 million to lease two gates, including Gate 15, from United Airlines in 2014. Southwest argues that Delta, which operates five daily flights to Atlanta through Gate 15, is trespassing and has no right to use the gate.
Delta argues that Southwest, which operates 10 daily flights through Gate 15, is attempting to monopolize Love Field to raise fares, and claims the city is required under federal law to provide access for airlines wanting to serve the airport.
The airlines were most recently in court last September for hearings that resulted in a January district court ruling that allowed Delta to continue operating out of Love Field until the case is resolved. Southwest appealed that ruling to the 5th Circuit.
After the 5th Circuit rules on how to proceed in the interim, the case is expected to resume at the district court level, where more evidence will be presented and a trial may be held.
I’m all for competition, and I feel like Delta should be able to operate from Dallas Love Field, as it will give flyers more options and cheaper prices.
Where do you stand on this? Do you think Southwest should continue to fight this battle with Delta, or is it time to fully welcome the airline to DAL?