DFW Comment on Southwest Study
Kevin Cox, Chief Operating Officer, DFW International Airport comments: “Today, Southwest
Airlines released a study that solidly endorsed the findings of the study
performed on behalf of DFW by the respected aviation consultancy firm of
The Southwest Airlines study concluded that airfares would be lowered for
North Texans, but failed to point out an important caveat—those
airfares are available now at DFW International Airport and can be further
lowered by Southwest Airlines by simply moving part of its operations
eight miles west—without an act of Congress and without the negative
economic impact on DFW or the North Texas economy.
In fact, CEO Gary Kelly can make the decision today. However, at the study
announcement, Southwest said “it is not in the corporate interest” of the
airline to offer service at DFW to North Texas travelers.
That ‘corporate interest’ is not looking out for what is best for our
North Texas community, our airline passengers or our neighborhoods. And,
if you take Southwest Airlines at its word, that decision is costing North
Texas $4B a year.
Ironically, the most profitable carrier in the U.S. who competes head to
head with every airline across the country now claims—despite previous
assertions to the contrary—that it cannot compete at DFW International
Airport with every other airline serving the Metroplex today.
No airport places greater value on lower airfares, increased competition
and access to a world of destinations than DFW International Airport. Our
own independent study, that Southwest adopted today, concluded that lower
fares are readily available at DFW and more low fare service is expected
which will benefit all North Texas travelers in the future—if the
Wright Amendment is left untouched.
In lieu of providing the service and fares they are so well known for,
Southwest Airlines is asking Congress for special treatment. Every other
carrier that serves this Metroplex does it from a level playing field at
DFW International Airport.
Southwest has the freedom to fly today, and it does not require an act of
Congress. We urge Southwest Airlines to do what is best for all of North
Texas and the flying public by initiating service today from the airport
that was built by our two great cities to handle regional growth and
competition for decades to come.
Today, we once again reiterate our offer to Southwest Airlines to initiate
service here at DFW, complete with free rent and other incentives valued
at $22 million which the North Texas congressional delegation previously
urged Southwest to consider. If this offer is not sufficient or needs to
be amended, then we stand ready, willing, and able to negotiate with
Southwest Airlines in an effort to determine what it will take to bring
them to DFW.
DFW was pleased to hear that Southwest Airlines and its consultant
endorsed the DFW study, but it cannot pick and choose the part of the
study it likes—and disregard the negative and massive economic impact
on DFW and the North Texas economy. That impact includes losing 204 daily
flights and 21 million annual passengers, setting back DFW passenger
levels and progress by 20 years.
In short, we urge Southwest Airlines to abandon this divisive effort.
Southwest has previously communicated to area officials that there are no
business or operational constraints to serving North Texans from DFW. In
fact, the airline has publicly acknowledged that it can make money at DFW.
If Southwest Airlines truly wants to serve North Texans, then we urge them
to do what is best for all of North Texas and the flying public-begin
service immediately at DFW International Airport.