Southwest Airlines announced on Monday it will offer nonstop flights from its base at Dallas Love Field, Texas to 15 cities later this year, after the expiry of federal restrictions from that airport.
The carrier plans to fly nonstop to Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Florida, and Chicago Midway from October 13. Service to Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York LaGuardia, Phoenix and other U.S. cities will begin November 2.
The Wright Amendment, a federal law introduced in the late 1970s, expires in October 13, which allows for direct flights from Love Field to 41 more states and the District of Columbia.
"The official repeal of Wright Amendment federal flight restrictions signifies a turning point for the Southwest brand not just in Dallas, but from coast-to-coast," said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines CEO said in a release. "We are pleased to offer this new service to the Customers of our home airport, who have waited 34 long years, and we thank the many, many folks who made this opportunity a reality. Goodbye, Wright Amendment. Hello, America!"
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison where there with Kelly and other Southwest staff at a news conference to make the announcement.
Last month, Southwest announced it plans to offer its first international flights, with destinations that include Aruba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. The carrier is also building a new international terminal at Houston’s Hobby Airport to allow it to fly to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
In addition, the carrier is a beneficiary of the American Airlines-US Airways merger, which forced American to give up some of its operating rights at Washington’s Reagan National Airport. Southwest Airlines Co. bid and won the right to some of those slots, which would allow for 27 daily departures, adding to 17 daily flights that it already operates from the airport.
The airline is no longer “a small fish in a big pond,” Edward Jones analyst Logan Purk told Bloomberg News.