US carrier Southwest Airlines will offer further long-distance flying from Dallas this year after revealing it has concluded a deal to acquire the rights to two additional gates at Love Field Airport. Beginning in April, Southwest will offer daily nonstop flights to nine new cities from Dallas and will increase the number of non-stop flights to existing destinations.
Details on a number of flights as well as the full list of the cities have not yet been announced, but new markets will include Memphis, Milwaukee, and Seattle, while frequency growth is likely to be added to many of the destinations added after the October 2014 expiration of the Wright Amendment restrictions on longer-distance flying at Love Field.
The new flights will be made possible through a long-term sub-lease agreement that will transfer usage of two gates in the newly rebuilt 20-gate facility from United Airlines to Southwest Airlines. The transaction was reviewed and cleared without conditions by the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division, while the City of Dallas, the owner and operator of Love Field, also has approved the sub-lease.
"Customer demand for our new, convenient long-haul non-stop service from Love Field has been even stronger than we anticipated, and we are excited now to have the opportunity to offer more flights to more cities from Dallas," said Bob Jordan, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Southwest Airlines.
According to officials at Memphis International Airport, Southwest Airlines is likely to introduce a twice daily link from Dallas Love Field with April 8, 2015, tentatively set as the start date. This will be its sixth route from Memphis, adding to flights to Baltimore, Chicago Midway, Houston Hobby, Orlando and Tampa.
Speaking ahead of Routes Americas, Scott Brockman, president and chief executive officer, Memphis International Airport confirmed full details of the airlines’ plans are expected to be confirmed during meetings at this year’s event in Denver. “We have been waiting for this for so long," he said, noting Southwest was delivering on a long-term promise to beef up Memphis service as soon as it had the gate space at Love Field.