Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines are prepared for battle over landing slots at Dallas’ Love Field.
Delta leases the gates from Southwest, but the lease expires on July 6, The Inquisitr News reported. Despite the expiration, Delta is booking flights through May 2016, and Southwest has also started booking flights for after the lease expiration, assuming it will take over the gates starting July 7, according to the Inquisitr report.
According to a Dallas Business Journal report, Delta on Friday said it will sue to maintain its gates at Love Field. Then, on Monday, Southwest said Delta trespassing if it does not stop using the gates and asked a federal judge to kick out the airline after July 6, the newspaper reported.
“It’s absolutely a dilemma for the city,” NBC Dallas-Fort Worth quoted aviation attorney Kent Krause, as saying. “There’s just not enough room at Love Field to deal with the demand.”
He added, according to the report: “As somebody who is a consumer of airline products, it certainly seems to me we all benefit from more competition, so allowing more airlines to have access to Love Field certainly would be beneficial, I think, to the consumer.”
Delta has also threatened legal action, and the city of Dallas has filed a lawsuit in a Dallas federal court, the Dallas Morning News reported. Delta also has the backing of the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to the newspaper.
“Once this thing enters the court system, you never know how it’s going to turn out,” the newspaper quoted Airline analyst Hunter Keay of Wolfe Research as saying. “It’s certainly turning into a soap opera. Something that I thought was pretty clear-cut is turning into something pretty unknowable. Something’s got to give by July 6. We know that.”
Southwest owns 18 of Love Field’s 20 gates, Inquisitr reported. Virgin America owns the other two gates.