Even if AS gives up the gates Delta is unlikely to receive them. The decision to award VX those gates also included language that stated that Delta was not a suitable candidate for those gates (neither was Southwest). If AS gives them up the DoJ will perform the same exercise as the one that awarded VX the gates..
I am not convinced that is a given. Two things have changed since the original award:
1) At the time of the original decision, Delta was flying from DAL, and awarding gates to them would mean a substantial expansion of their operations. Now Delta has lost their gates (pending the outcome of the lawsuit); failing to consider the possibility of allowing them to take over VX's current space might (again, might
- depending on the outcome of the pending cases) eliminate them from Love. I don't think that ever was - or would be - the intent of the DoJ to eliminate DL from DAL, and allowing Delta to take then gates would solve that sticky issue.
2) The DoJ purposely eliminated WN (obviously, dominant already at DAL) and DL from the original decision with the specific hope of adding a "low cost" carrier to DAL. There seems to be a real possibility no other LCC will step up and request gate space there. That pretty much leaves WN (still almost a monopoly at DAL), AA (specifically divested of the gates), UA (who clearly abandoned their opportunity), or DL. If those are the actual possibilities, I believe DL has the best chance.
I do think it would be interesting to see if Sun Country might decide scheduled service from DAL would be a possibility, but I question whether they would have a profitable year-round market - and whether they would want to deploy their (limited number of) aircraft to test that market. Without FIS facilities, they would be limited to flying from airports that offer preclearance, or limited to flying domestically (MSP) only. Even if they were interested, I suspect their schedule would only need one of the two gates.
The only other possibility I see is Frontier. They seem to be erratic enough to try it... and probably abandon it quickly...