Media Statement From Kevin Cox, Chief Operating Officer, DFW International Airport_20191112103637456
Re: Southwest Airlines Denying North Texas $4B in Economic Activity – One CEO Can Make the Change, Not Congress
DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Texas (June 7, 2005) Today, Southwest Airlines released a study that solidly endorsed the findings of the study performed on behalf of DFW by the respected aviation consultancy firm of SH&E.
The Southwest Airlines study concluded that airfares would be lowered for North Texans, but failed to point out an important caveat – those airfares are available now at DFW International Airport and can be further lowered by Southwest Airlines by simply moving part of its operations eight miles west – without an act of Congress and without the negative economic impact on DFW or the North Texas economy.
In fact, CEO Gary Kelly can make the decision today. However, at the study announcement, Southwest said “it is not in the corporate interest” of the airline to offer service at DFW to North Texas travelers.
That ‘corporate interest’ is not looking out for what is best for our North Texas community, our airline passengers or our neighborhoods. And, if you take Southwest Airlines at its word, that decision is costing North Texas $4B a year.
Ironically, the most profitable carrier in the U.S. who competes head to head with every airline across the country now claims - despite previous assertions to the contrary - that it cannot compete at DFW International Airport with every other airline serving the Metroplex today.
No airport places greater value on lower airfares, increased competition and access to a world of destinations than DFW International Airport. Our own independent study, that Southwest adopted today, concluded that lower fares are readily available at DFW and more low fare service is expected which will benefit all North Texas travelers in the future – if the Wright Amendment is left untouched.
In lieu of providing the service and fares they are so well known for, Southwest Airlines is asking Congress for special treatment. Every other carrier that serves this Metroplex does it from a level playing field at DFW International Airport.
Southwest has the freedom to fly today, and it does not require an act of Congress. We urge Southwest Airlines to do what is best for all of North Texas and the flying public by initiating service today from the airport that was built by our two great cities to handle regional growth and competition for decades to come.
Today, we once again reiterate our offer to Southwest Airlines to initiate service here at DFW, complete with free rent and other incentives valued at $22 million which the North Texas congressional delegation previously urged Southwest to consider. If this offer is not sufficient or needs to be amended, then we stand ready, willing, and able to negotiate with Southwest Airlines in an effort to determine what it will take to bring them to DFW.
DFW was pleased to hear that Southwest Airlines and its consultant endorsed the DFW study, but it cannot pick and choose the part of the study it likes – and disregard the negative and massive economic impact on DFW and the North Texas economy. That impact includes losing 204 daily flights and 21 million annual passengers, setting back DFW passenger levels and progress by 20 years.
In short, we urge Southwest Airlines to abandon this divisive effort. Southwest has previously communicated to area officials that there are no business or operational constraints to serving North Texans from DFW. In fact, the airline has publicly acknowledged that it can make money at DFW. If Southwest Airlines truly wants to serve North Texans, then we urge them to do what is best for all of North Texas and the flying public—begin service immediately at DFW International Airport.
Chief Operating Officer DFW International Airport