85% Urge Southwest to Offer DFW Service

11th Jul 2005

A formal survey
of DFW’s 59 million passengers during one of the busiest travel periods of
2005 was clear:  Air travelers from around the country and local residents of
North Texas overwhelmingly want Southwest Airlines to begin some service at
DFW International Airport.  Eighty-five percent of 2714 passengers surveyed
who expressed an opinion answered yes to this simple question: “Would you like
to see Southwest Airlines fly out of DFW Airport?“The passenger poll was taken between July 2 and July 5, and precedes a new
advertising campaign to be launched by DFW this weekend that highlights how
the Airport and Southwest Airlines can work together to strengthen the North
Texas economy and add to the 268,000 jobs tied to flight activity at DFW.
  “We wanted this very large sample size to make sure we accurately
reflected the feelings of our passengers,” says Joe Lopano, executive vice
president of marketing and terminal management at DFW.  “We asked connecting
passengers from around the country and our residents right here in North
Texas.  We asked business travelers and vacationers.  It was simply a
landslide of support for Southwest to bring their great service to DFW.  It’s
very clear that this is what travelers want and the synergies between
Southwest Airlines and DFW can strengthen our region and build on our economy.
It is truly a win-win for all concerned, most importantly, those who fly and
those who work in North Texas.”
  Today, a tow plane carried a message banner over the runways of Dallas
Love Field, home of Southwest Airlines.  The banner read “Travelers Want
Southwest at DFW NOW!”  The plane also carried the message over Southwest’s
corporate headquarters, downtown Dallas, into North Dallas and Plano as well
as the southern sector of the city.
  DFW polled travelers across its terminal concourses over the busy
Independence Day weekend.  When asked: “Would you like to see Southwest
Airlines fly out of DFW Airport?” 62-percent said yes, 11-percent said no and
27-percent had no opinion.  When directly comparing those who had an opinion
on the question, an overwhelming 85-percent answered yes and only 15-percent
replied no.
  DFW will launch a print advertising campaign this weekend to inform and
educate the public about the travelers poll and the positive impact a strong
relationship between Southwest Airlines and DFW can have on the North Texas
economy.  According to the latest economic survey conducted by the Texas
Department of Transportation, DFW International Airport generates more than
$14B in economic activity every year, and supports more than 268,000 jobs that
pay more than $6B in wages.
  “These are real jobs and real people that make our economy and
neighborhoods stronger with the success of DFW,” added Lopano.  “Southwest
Airlines can also be profitable at DFW and add billions of dollars to this
economy by building on the success of DFW and having our Airport as a strong
partner.  We’ve said in the past we will even build them their own terminal,
and we are still offering free rent and other financial incentives valued at
over $22 million to come to DFW.
  “In short, DFW and our Board will make sure Southwest gets what it needs.
And our employees stand ready to assist in any way they can.”
  In addition to the public’s desire for Southwest to begin service at DFW,
financial analysts predict that the airline could benefit from such a move.
  Lehman Brothers published its equity research company update for Southwest
Airlines in November.  The analysts conclude:
  “We believe Dallas is a compelling opportunity for any solid low-fare
carrier.  However, we believe that no low-fare carrier will find Dallas as
compelling as Southwest given that the company is already one of two hometown
airlines in the city.  Delta’s de-hubbing of Dallas will likely free up about
a concourse full of gates at the airport.  We believe the combination of
facilities availability, market appeal, the exit of a secondary competitor,
and Southwest’s status as one of two hometown airlines in Dallas make the
opportunity too compelling to ignore.  We believe Southwest could ultimately
realize more than $500m in incremental revenue in the city.”
  “It’s very clear that Southwest can unite North Texas with service at DFW
that benefit the entire region,” said Jeff Fegan, DFW International Airport
CEO.  “We are very committed to bringing in more low fare carriers at DFW to
compete with the five that are already here.  We’re enjoying record success
for low fare service at DFW, and we are keeping the door open for Southwest to
fly here.  We can certainly work together for the greater good of all of our
residents here in North Texas.”


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