DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines Co. is raising the ante over Dallas Love Field.
The airline said Monday it will begin flying next year from Dallas to Boston; Oakland and San Jose, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; and Panama City Beach, Fla. A law banning those flights with large planes like Southwest’s Boeing 737s expires in October. Southwest recently announced the first 15 cities it will serve.
Southwest says that if it gets two more gates that American Airlines must sell, it will fly to San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif.; Seattle; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; Newark, N.J.; Detroit; Indianapolis; Memphis, Tenn.; Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Charleston, S.C. American agreed to sell the gates to settle a government lawsuit challenging its merger with US Airways.
Delta Air Lines Inc. and Virgin America also want the gates. The U.S. Department of Justice will decide.
Delta’s hopes to acquire the gates dimmed Monday when the Justice Department said in a court filing that it does not consider the airline to be an appropriate candidate for the gates. The filing said that letting Delta have the gates would be “inconsistent” with the government’s goal of increased competition.
In response, Delta issued a statement maintaining that the city of Dallas, not the federal government, should decide how the gates are used.
“It is Delta’s unwavering position that the two gates in question at Dallas Love Field should return to the City of Dallas to be managed by the city for common use,” the statement said. “Officials of the City of Dallas are uniquely positioned to decide what to do with these gates based on what is best for their citizens and businesses. If the gates revert to the city, competition will be enhanced. Love Field will be able to accommodate all the carriers that want to serve it.”