Southwest may consider D/FW Airport
Gates to be vacated by Delta in February could entice carrier
By ERIC TORBENSON and SUZANNE MARTA / The Dallas Morning News
Southwest Airlines Co., which for years steadfastly avoided service from sprawling Dallas/Fort
Worth International Airport, may be softening its stance.
The discounter's chief executive said Thursday that executives are closely watching how D/FW fills
gates soon to be left vacant by Delta Air Lines Inc.
"It is definitely a situation that we are monitoring," Gary Kelly, who was named Southwest's CEO in
July, said in an interview.
"It remains true that we don't want to serve this region from D/FW for a variety of reasons. We want
to continue to serve the Dallas-Fort Worth region from Love Field, and nothing has changed there in
terms of our desires."
However, Mr. Kelly said, the airline could take a fresh look at D/FW Airport because of the
opportunity presented by Delta's decision to pull its hub.
The move will put thousands of passengers up for grabs starting in February.
Now D/FW's No. 2 carrier, Delta will probably keep only about 4 of its 19 exclusive-rights jet gates in Terminal E, freeing up the rest, airport officials said.
"The airline landscape is changing, and it's something we're going to continue to monitor," Mr. Kelly
said. "We're watching closely to see what service is added and by whom."
The rest of the article is at:
Don't know if the link will work, but it's a free registration...
Another interesting aspect of the article is that it mentions -possible- used 737s, presumably older
"Southwest's ability to jump into new markets has typical constraints, one of the biggest being
aircraft. The airline adds 29 planes next year and would likely go to the used 737 market if it needed more planes, especially in the first half of 2005, Mr. Kelly said."
"In this environment, we would get some very good deals," he said. "We are fortunate in that we've
got a good amount of cash on hand and a very strong balance sheet."
[Edited 2004-10-01 12:50:24]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.