10:22 AM

North Texas Business Leaders And DFW International Airport Comment On Southwest Airlines Petition Drive

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, TX (October 18, 2005) - The following are comments from DFW International Airport and North Texas business leaders regarding Southwest Airlines’ petition drive released today: 

“Southwest Airlines claims its stance about the Wright Amendment is based on wanting low fares and more competition for North Texas. We have both today at DFW International Airport, including service from seven low-fare carriers. What Southwest really wants is to maintain its 97% passenger monopoly at Dallas Love Field and avoid competition. That’s bad for North Texas.

“Recently, Southwest Airlines attempted to move its operations from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Boeing Field, a smaller facility closer to the city. The leaders there rejected that move last week, citing ‘litigation, increased noise and increased traffic’ as the reasons behind the decision. Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said he would abide by the ruling and do what is best for the community. 

“Mr. Kelly, the Wright Amendment was the compromise that Southwest and the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth agreed to years ago to resolve the issue of commercial air service in North Texas. Why can’t you do what is best for this community and abide by that ruling? And you can have the best of both worlds and offer service at Love Field and DFW – tomorrow. 

“The 268,000 men and women whose jobs are tied to DFW, neighbors around Love Field, and millions of our travelers would like Mr. Kelly to do what is best for our community as well.” 

Jeff Wentworth

Chairman of the Board Dallas Fort Worth International Airport 

“We did a formal survey that concluded 85% of passengers who have an opinion on the Wright Amendment want Southwest Airlines to offer flights at DFW, something it could do tomorrow without an act of Congress. That figure represents millions of travelers and we encourage Southwest to do what is right for the people of North Texas as well as our economy by flying long-haul service at our Airport. We think if Southwest had asked the question of their patrons about offering service at DFW, the airline would have received an overwhelming positive response. 

“As for the Southwest petition drive, let’s not forget how these signatures were obtained – by offering Southwest employees free airline tickets, by antagonizing and pressuring travelers, many of whom did not want to sign, and by giving out less than complete information about the facts of the Wright Amendment. In short, we question the usefulness of such an effort.”  

Kevin Cox

Chief Operating Officer Dallas Fort Worth International Airport 

“Southwest Airlines is a great company and well-run business. However, there are hundreds of thousands of people in the Metroplex who don't live near Love Field and would welcome the opportunity to fly Southwest Airlines from DFW. Southwest could take its passengers to any destination in the country tomorrow from DFW without all this petty bickering and fighting. As someone who runs his own business, I understand what it means to make a profit and take care of my customers. Southwest should think about all its North Texas customers and start flying nationally from DFW as soon as possible.” 

Amir Rupani

Greater Dallas Asian Chamber of Commerce 

“The North Texas Commission was created to enhance and promote the economic vitality and quality of life of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. That's why we believe - in spite of Southwest's petition announcement today - that if Southwest were to start longhaul service at DFW Airport, it would provide a real boost to our economy and make the region more attractive when competing for corporate relocations, expansions and business investment.”

Dan Petty

President & CEO North Texas Commission