Mayors Urge Southwest to Reconsider

    January 17, 2005

The Mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth expressed dismay that Southwest Airlines declined to extend its codeshare agreement with ATA Airlines to passengers at DFW International Airport.

“My goal is to have more choices at DFW and Southwest Airlines could have the best of both worlds here in North Texas,” said Dallas Mayor Laura Miller. “With the flip of a switch, Southwest could offer codeshare service from DFW. I hope that Southwest will reconsider its codeshare decision. It’s yet another simple way to get more low fare travel choices for our hometown flyers. We also truly hope Southwest is still seriously considering the Terminal E incentive program.”

Southwest announced late Thursday it would codeshare flights with ATA through Chicago Midway Airport from eleven airports, from New York City to Honolulu. The codeshare agreement means that passengers may book their flights on Southwest and seamlessly travel on ATA flights to their final destinations. Southwest could have chosen to codeshare at DFW through ATA, which operates 8 flights daily from DFW to Chicago Midway Airport and Indianapolis, with no additional operational costs.

The codeshare agreement’s inclusion of DFW Airport could have resulted in lower fares for many of DFW’s most popular destinations, including New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Oakland, Providence, and Hartford. “With so many cities included in the codeshare agreement, the apparent decision to carve DFW out of the agreement is truly unfortunate for North Texas travelers,” said DFW Chief Operating Officer Kevin Cox.

“With a few computer keystrokes, Southwest could begin bringing its service to DFW immediately through ATA, and down the road give DFW travelers more flight options by bringing its own planes here,” said Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief. “We hope Southwest will continue to consider DFW’s aggressive incentive package to come to Terminal E. It’s the right deal at the right price and the right time to unite North Texas for the benefit of all local passengers.”

Last week, DFW announced its Terminal E Leasing and Air Service Incentive Program, aimed at filling the 24 gates being vacated by Delta Air Lines by the end of January 2005. The incentive package was offered to more than 40 airlines — including Southwest — highlighted by free rent in Terminal E for one year and up to $22-million worth of available incentives.

Any airline accepting the offer would be required to meet certain departure levels, based on the number of gates leased, with at least 70% of new seats dedicated to markets listed in DFW’s Top 50 destinations and currently not served by the airline from DFW.

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