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Southwest in talks, reconsidering operating at DFW Airport

Wednesday morning headlines, Nov. 1
Wednesday morning headlines, Nov. 1 02:35

DALLAS ( - Southwest Airlines is interested in operating at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The airline rejected the massive airfield a half-century ago when it was a tiny carrier with just a few planes.

Wednesday, Southwest officials said while its top focus is ensuring its long-term future at Dallas Love Field, there have been "preliminary conversations" with DFW.

A statement from Southwest reads, "As Love Field is gate-limited, and a key provision of the Five Party Agreement is nearing its sunsetting, we have engaged in preliminary conversations with DFW International Airport to further serve Customers throughout the area."

Love Field has only 20 gates, 18 of which Southwest controls, and can't expand under a 2006 federal law. That measure, which updated a 1979 law called the Wright Amendment, also bars Southwest from operating at DFW, but only until 2025.  

"Southwest highlighted they are interested in discussing a moderate amount of flights from DFW and we expect the discussions to continue with no decisions reached until 2024 at the earliest. DFW's future infrastructure investments include gate growth for American Airlines and all other airlines interested in serving the Dallas-Fort Worth region," DFW Communications & Marketing Specialist Francisco J. Rodriguez said in a statement to CBS News Texas.

DFW, the third-busiest airport in the world, has 168 gates spread across five terminals.  

In Feb. 2022, Southwest Airlines executives revealed they may consider expanding operations at a second airport in North Texas later this decade.

Watch Jack Fink's exclusive on Southwest Airlines considering expanding in North Texas

Regarding potential expansion locally, Gary Kelly, the Executive Chairman and former CEO, said, "The thought that we would be sitting in the DFW area for 25 years and not grow makes no sense. So yes, I think we'll have opportunities later on this decade to think about how we might want to expand."

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