DFW International Airport Response To Southwest Airlines Starting Service At Denver International Airport
DFW Executives Say Southwest Needs To Come Clean
(DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, October 20, 2005) – The decision by Southwest Airlines to begin providing air service at Denver International Airport should prove beyond any doubt that Southwest is also easily capable of providing long-haul service for North Texas from DFW International Airport. Southwest announced today it would begin flying to Denver early next year.
“Southwest needs to come clean with the traveling public, with the Congress and with the 268,000 men and women whose jobs depend on DFW, that their efforts to repeal the Wright Amendment have nothing whatsoever to do with their ability to fly out of this Airport,” said Kevin Cox, DFW’s chief operating officer. “That was validated today with Southwest’s announcement to fly out of Denver International.”
“If the objective of Southwest is to operate with a virtual monopoly at Love Field, they should just come out and say so,” said Joe Lopano, executive vice president of marketing at DFW. “What Southwest has said publicly about not wanting to serve DFW is that our Airport has an entrenched hub carrier, the costs are too high and the Airport is too congested for their business model. Factor in that Denver also has an entrenched hub carrier, nearly double the costs per enplaned passenger, and hub airport congestion, and then you realize their refusal to operate here doesn’t make much sense.”
A formal survey conducted at DFW concluded 85-percent of passengers who have an opinion about the Wright Amendment want Southwest Airlines to offer flights at DFW. That percentage translates into more than 30-million annual passengers who would support the idea of Southwest flying from DFW.
“Southwest can choose to fly long-haul flights from DFW, just as they are choosing to do from Denver,” said Lopano. “We are sincere and resolute that Southwest is welcome here any time they would like to serve long-haul markets from North Texas. DFW is committed to providing all North Texas travelers with the best options, fares and customer service, and we are asking Southwest Airlines once again to operate long-haul flights from DFW instead of attempting to repeal the Wright Amendment.”
DFW’s offer of free rent and other financial incentives valued at over $22 million remains available to Southwest, which would be able to keep its short haul flights at Love Field and initiate long-haul traffic from DFW.
“It is beyond my understanding why Southwest would choose to go 650 miles away to do business in Denver, when they can go eight miles up the road to existing empty gates where a $22-million dollar incentive offer awaits them,” said Mayor Mike Moncrief of Fort Worth.
DFW currently hosts a total of 24 scheduled passenger service carriers, including six low-cost carriers that successfully compete for the large number of North Texas local travelers on a daily basis.
By the Numbers
Cost per enplaned passenger*: DFW $8.30, DIA $14.50 Daily departures**: DFW 932, DIA 728. Number of airports Southwest serves: 62 Number of airports Southwest serves in direct competition with American: 55 Number of airports Southwest serves that are more congested than DFW: 15 Number of airports Southwest serves that are more expensive than DFW: 7 Number of markets where Southwest serves multiple airports: 3 *Source: Leigh Fisher Associates (Aviation Consultants) **Source: OAG October 2005
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