Mayors Urge Southwest Airlines to Serve Passengers at DFW

The Mayors of
Dallas and Fort Worth today expressed dismay that Southwest Airlines
declined to extend its codeshare agreement with ATA Airlines to passengers
at DFW International Airport. Southwest announced late Thursday it would codeshare flights with ATA
through Chicago Midway Airport from eleven airports, from New York City to
Honolulu. The codeshare agreement means that passengers may book their
flights on Southwest and seamlessly travel on ATA flights to their final
destinations. Southwest could have chosen to codeshare at DFW through ATA,
which operates 8 flights daily from DFW to Chicago Midway Airport and
Indianapolis, with no additional operational costs.

The codeshare agreement’s inclusion of DFW Airport could have resulted in
lower fares for many of DFW’s most popular destinations, including New
York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Oakland, Providence, and Hartford. “With so
many cities included in the codeshare agreement, the apparent decision to
carve DFW out of the agreement is truly unfortunate for North Texas
travelers,” said DFW Chief Operating Officer Kevin Cox.

“My goal is to have more choices at DFW and Southwest Airlines could have
the best of both worlds here in North Texas,” said Dallas Mayor Laura
Miller. “With the flip of a switch, Southwest could offer codeshare
service from DFW. I hope that Southwest will reconsider its codeshare
decision. It’s yet another simple way to get more low fare travel choices
for our hometown flyers. We also truly hope Southwest is still seriously
considering the Terminal E incentive program.”

Last week, DFW announced its Terminal E Leasing and Air Service Incentive
Program, aimed at filling the 24 gates being vacated by Delta Air Lines by
the end of January 2005. The incentive package was offered to more than 40
airlines—including Southwest—highlighted by free rent in Terminal E
for one year and up to $22-million worth of available incentives.

Any airline accepting the offer would be required to meet certain
departure levels, based on the number of gates leased, with at least 70%
of new seats dedicated to markets listed in DFW’s Top 50 destinations and
currently not served by the airline from DFW.

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“With a few computer keystrokes, Southwest could begin bringing its
service to DFW immediately through ATA, and down the road give DFW
travelers more flight options by bringing its own planes here,” said Fort
Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief. “We hope Southwest will continue to consider
DFW’s aggressive incentive package to come to Terminal E. It’s the right
deal at the right price and the right time to unite North Texas for the
benefit of all local passengers.”
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