The recent editorial, “Dallas must take control at Love,” misses on several points.
Southwest agreed under the Wright Amendment and the Five Party Agreement to be limited to 16 of 20 gates at Love Field — to allocate more would violate that. The City approved the lease of two Love Field gates to American Airlines, giving American the right to sublease to “any party” and requiring the City to not “unreasonably withhold or delay” approval.
And in fact, American has subleased the gates twice before with straightforward approval from the city manager.
The editorial asserts that the Department of Justice should only have a say in the decision if the choices are “anti-competitive.”
What could be more “anti-competitive” than allowing a carrier that controls 90 percent of the traffic to further consolidate that monopoly?
The impact is already being felt: An August 2013 study by MIT researchers found that of airports in its size class, Love had the largest increase in average fares from 2007-2012 — a 37 percent jump.
The legal and consumer arguments are clear.
Comparing this to a different competitive dynamic by another company almost a decade ago is irrelevant — and ignores the plain fact that more competition is a good thing for the region’s travelers.