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Southwest Airlines says it will appeal Dallas Love Field gate ruling

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Southwest Airlines said it plans to appeal a federal judge’s decision to issue a temporary injunction that is allowing Delta Air Lines to continue operations at Dallas Love Field.

On Tuesday, the Dallas-based carrier filed a “notice to appeal” with the federal court, showing its intent to file an appeal with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

“We are appealing the decision as part of our ongoing efforts to protect our right to fully utilize our gates at Love Field,” said Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins.

At issue is gate space at Love Field, which is limited to 20 gates by the Wright Amendment Reform Act, which ended restrictions on long-haul flights from the airport in 2014. Delta had been leasing gate space from United Airlines until the end of 2014, when United transferred its leases on two gates to Southwest for $120 million.

Southwest and Delta had a temporary agreement allowing Delta to fly its five daily flights to Atlanta through July, but Southwest planned to kick Delta out after that so it could use the gates for new flights.

“Delta is pleased that the trial court has confirmed our right to serve Love Field, and we are confident that decision will be upheld on appeal,” said Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter.

After a September court hearing, U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade ruled this month in Delta’s favor, allowing it to continue operations while the court case continues.

“In considering the public interest, the Court finds the chaos and inconvenience of disrupted service by removing Delta from Love Field before the legal issues are decided would be a great disservice to the public,” Kinkeade wrote in his 42-page ruling.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk