Federal court okays Delta's continued Love Field presence.
New York (AirGuideBusiness - Business & Industry Features) A US Federal court has ruled that Delta Air Lines can continue to operate out of Dallas Love Field pending the outcome of a court case brought by Southwest Airlines to determine the former's right of access to the Dallas metropolitan airport. US District Judge Ed Kinkeade, in his ruling issued last week, rejected Southwest's claims that Delta's continued use of two of the airport's gates would negatively impact the Texan LCC's operations there. He instead agreed with Delta's assertions that its operations would be impacted should it be forced to withdraw. aSouthwestas claim that Deltaas five flights daily unduly interferes with Southwestas operations is simply not supported by the evidence,a Kinkeade said. aUp until its announcement on February 26, 2015 of increased flight operations, the evidence establishes that Southwest was able to accommodate Delta without aunduly interfering witha Southwestas own operations'.a The case was brought by the City of Dallas, Love Field's owner and operator, in June last year wherein it sought a declaratory judgement to determine which airlines are entitled to use which gate slots at the airport. Southwest and Delta's dispute came to prominence last year when Southwest signed an agreement to lease two United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) gates at Love Field. Delta, whose lease on one of the gates was to have expired on July 6, 2015, protested the move claiming it would have driven it out of Love Field while giving Southwest a near monopoly on the airfield's operations. The two gates in hand, Southwest currently holds 18 of Love Field's 20 gates with the remainder in the hands of Virgin America (VX, San Francisco, CA). Southwest subsequently filed a motion in Washington to have Delta evicted and also sought to overturn a guidance issued by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to the City of Dallas which said that in light of the airport's unique circumstances, the municipality was legally obligated to accommodate all air carriers seeking to provide service there. Delta has set its sights on having Southwest's lease deal with United unwound failing which it will seek a federal order requiring Southwest to accommodate it. Friday's ruling enjoins both Southwest and United Airlines from increasing their Love Field frequencies for the duration of legal proceedings and also requires Southwest to notify the city within five days of any changes to its Love Field operations.
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