Delta Air Lines Ramping Up At Dallas Love Field And Austin

Delta gained control of a full gate at Dallas Love Field under a legal settlement last summer, and will begin fully utilizing it in June.

Meanwhile Delta is finally going to grow in Austin. I broke the news they planned a focus city in my home town nearly five years ago. Growth here, delayed by the pandemic, is finally beginning, recognizing that they were falling behind at the number one growth airport in the country.

Fully Utilizing A Gate At Dallas Love Field

This past summer, after a seven year ordeal, Delta leveraged the Department of Transportation to force Dallas Love Field to give them a gate and get the City of Dallas to pay for it. Starting June 5, Delta is ramping up use of gate 11.

  • 2x daily service to New York LaGuardia
  • 2x daily service to Los Angeles
  • 5x daily service to Atlanta

By law there are only 20 gates at Dallas Love Field. There used to be 32, but 12 were ordered eliminated as part of a deal to lifted Wright Amendment restrictions on where flights could go from the airport while still limiting competition for American Airlines flights out of Dallas – Fort Worth and giving Southwest Airlines a stranglehold on the smaller airport.

Southwest Airlines used to be the one fighting to be allowed to fly, but in this process turned into the one fighting to enforce a government-granted monopoly. Here’s how Southwest wound up with 18 of the airport’s 20 gates.

  • They had leases for 16
  • United Airlines leased two. Delta was using one of those gates. But United got a better deal leasing them to Southwest, giving Southwest control of 18 gates
  • American Airlines had two gates, but gave them up as a condition of government-approval for their US Airways merger. The gates went to Virgin America, and are now controlled by Alaska Airlines which acquired Virgin.

All of this left Southwest with 18 gates, Alaska with 2, and Delta without a gate in the game of musical airport chairs.

However the Department of Transportation said that the City of Dallas had to continue to accommodate Delta at Love Field even though it had no gates to do so, couldn’t legally build more, and Southwest had a valid lease for the gate Delta was using.

The FAA threated to issue a determination that the City of Dallas was in noncompliance with its Federal grant obligations in the operation of Dallas Love Field, making them ineligible for FAA grant funds.

Everyone wound up in Court. Just for kicks, American Airlines got involved to say they wanted gates at Love Field, too! (They didn’t really, they were basically trolling.) In the meantime Delta squatted on a Love Field gate half the time.

Here’s how they settled:

  • Alaska Airlines doesn’t actually want to use two gates at Love Field
  • So Delta will use one of them
  • And the City of Dallas will kick in $200,000 a year to lease the gate for Delta through 2028

Delta used to at least pretend to be against government subsidies for the airline industry, now they are vocally in favor.

None of this would have been an issue if the federal government hadn’t limited the number of gates at Love Field, helping to cartelize the airport, and if the city hadn’t destroyed gates there would have been a greater chance of redress through Congress.

Growth In Austin Finally Begins

Delta’s 2018 plan for a focus city was delayed. All they really did was open a gorgeous new Sky Club with an outdoor deck, while joint venture partner KLM began service to Amsterdam and vassal Virgin Atlantic launched service to London.

They dropped plans for all of their focus cities except Austin and Raleigh in 2021, but still didn’t actually do anything to grow in Austin.

Currently Southwest Airlines is the dominant carrier in Austin, following by American. According to data from Cirium Diio Mi, February schedules break down as follows:

Flights Seats Seat Miles
Southwest 38% 41% 33%
American 29% 25% 21%
United 11% 11% 10%
Delta 10% 10% 11%

Delta’s flying in Austin consists of:

  • Atlanta: 7 peak daily departures. This will grow to 10 starting July 10.
  • Boston: 2 peak daily departures. This will grow to 3 starting July 10.
  • Detroit: 3 peak daily departures. This will remain the same.
  • New York JFK: 3 daily departures. This will grow to 4 starting June 5.
  • Los Angeles: 3 peak daily departures. This will grow to 4 starting July 10.
  • Minneapolis: 3 peak daily departures. This will grow to 4 starting July 10.
  • Seattle: 2 peak daily departures. This will grow to 3 starting July 10.
  • Salt Lake City: 3 peak daily departures. This will grow to 4 starting June 5.
  • Raleigh: 1 Delta connection flight. Delta will offer 2 frequencies starting July 10.

Delta Sky Club Austin

This represents 10 additional daily flights, which are supportably by their current gates. This represents roughly a 37% increase in daily departures for the airline. That won’t move their overall market share in the city, except to pull ahead of United to a clearer number three. It also means flying only to Delta’s own hubs still, plus their other focus city of Raleigh which they’ve been backing away from.

However it means offering substantially more service on their own terms, great for Delta flying in the city and great for convenient schedules and connectivity.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “ None of this would have been an issue if the federal government hadn’t limited the number of gates at Love Field, helping to cartelize the airport, and if the city hadn’t destroyed gates there would have been a greater chance of redress through Congress.”

    I have to say I disagree overall, Gary. In this piece you allude to it, in your 2019 piece you directly say love field should be expanded with more gates = more flights.
    The airport has been there a long time, but I definitely don’t understand the logic behind having, much less expanding, an airport with runways directly aimed at the downtown high rises (the planes mostly have to do a hard turn on final or on take off to avoid Downtown) and with planes flying very low, spewing exhaust above the most densely populated part of dallas.

    The airport is there. But it hardly makes sense to increase the risk or the pollution that airport creates on downtown, uptown, oak lawn, and the poorer neighborhoods right by love field.
    Those that bought in those neighborhoods either bought before the Wright appeal or after it with the gate cap so purchased homes with the expectation of relatively limited airport use.

  2. @Jake – Expand? No need to ‘expand’ just don’t sit idly by while gates are destroyed, giving Southwest a virtual monopoly over the airport.

  3. I suppose DL is planning on getting a lot of premium traffic out of DAL and that justified this protracted legal battle. DAL never made sense (and still doesn’t) for AS, so this may be a win/win. I am sure WN is hoping AS calls it quits and they can get their hands on another gate at DAL. Obviously, DFW will always be the primary airport in this region. That said, I would not be surprised to see a third airport for commercial traffic open at McKinney. The city council is considering a bond package that would fund a new terminal there. That is where the money is and has been going in the DFW area…I could see a lot of premium traffic to/from LA/NYC/Bay Area.

  4. glad you gave Delta’s growth in Texas a separate article – it deserves it as much because of the mess that is N. Texas and that Delta finally legally prevailed.
    You got the article mostly right until you started using the words “squatting” and “subsidies”

    As with any legal case, if you believe you are in the right, you hold your ground and do not walk away – including occupying or possessing something you believe you are entitled to. It was Southwest that sued to force Delta to leave gate 15 at DAL and no court made a judgment against Delta.
    The federal appeals court ruled in Delta’s favor and the case went back to the parties for mediation and negotiation or to the Supreme Court which probably would not have intervened.
    The City of Dallas ultimately is the party that had to do the accommodating because they allowed Southwest to negotiate a lease of United’s 2 gates but refused to accommodate Delta.
    Federal law says that airlines that are actively serving an airport cannot be forced out regardless of changes in leases. That clause of the law is precisely why Delta had to stay in order to win its case and why the DOJ, in ruling that American’s 2 gates had to be made available to a low cost carrier – and they chose Alaska – was legally faulty.
    The DOJ also tried to manipulate the market; AS did not have the market strength to compete against WN while Delta has successfully done so for years on the ATL-DAL route. DAL made the case for about 15 gates worth of flying with additional service to other hubs but settled for 1 gate which they believe can support 9 flights – 5 Atlanta, 2 Los Angeles and 2 NY LaGuardia. Since Delta and Southwest were operating 15 flights/day on many days out of gate 15, it is possible that Delta could add more but they don’t believe the operation could be reliably operated with much more.
    Since gate leases at Love Field expire in 2028 for all carriers and all Wright amendment related restrictions on DAL and DFW and AA and WN end in 2025, it is possible that Southwest could begin to expand in N. Texas including other new airports or DFW.
    As much as some people believe otherwise, AA likely cannot return to Love Field because the airport is and will be full unless AS leaves or allow AA to release that gate. WN moved quickly to fill up its gates, Delta is guaranteed a gate until 2028 and will become a direct leaseholder then. Obviously AS is just holding on by a thread at DAL so they could cede their gate back to AA – in which case AA and DL will each have one gate.

    As for Austin, Delta passed United as the 3rd largest carrier at Austin and will put even more distance between UA and itself with the addition of these flights; no other carrier has the ability to grow much. Delta used their AUS gates well enough to meet gate usage requirements and can easily add these 10 flights and probably more.
    Given that Delta serves all of its hubs except LGA which is outside the LGA perimeter plus RDU from AUS, AUS is in a better position for DL than Dallas or Houston in terms of cities served. However, Delta serves both Dallas and Houston airports similar to what it does in Chicago giving Delta a unique network position in other carrier hub cities.

  5. Nice recap, thank Gary ! Austin is my HT too, any news on whether Delta will initiate AUS-DAL flights starting in June ? Might be compelling is the price is right.

  6. Gary, do you think Delta will ever put a Paris non-stop in Austin? AA/BA has London, UA/Lufthansa has Frankfurt, KLM has Amsterdam. Do you think a Delta/AirFrance Paris non-stop has a chance?

  7. @JL- Ever? Sure. But for now the joint venture has KLM service to Amsterdam just 3 days a week. And both Virgin Atlantic and BA flying to London, plus Lufthansa’s Frankfurt service, means there’s not a shortage of transatlantic connecting options (plus one-stop from Austin to numerous gateways in the U.S.). They need to believe there’s enough Paris non-stop business, and right now there probably isn’t.

    Put another way, for now it’s likely Amsterdam *or* Paris, both is tough. That said, Norwegian thought Paris would work in summer prior to the pandemic and as a seasonal flight maybe it could.

  8. @TexasTJ – No Dallas Love Field – Austin on Delta, and I wouldn’t expect it. The Love Field operation is going to be very limited because they have just one gate, so they want flights with the greatest potential for revenue on their own.

  9. As for potential future markets from DAL or AUS On DL, the sheer number of gates (1) will mean that DL – and likely AA when it is able to restart service – will mean they will serve their hubs which are the most efficient means to collect traffic.
    AA and DL both have large operations (hubs) at LAX and LGA so both will likely serve those if AA is able to return to Love Field.

    As for AUS, there is a diminishing value for a city from the 3rd or 4th or 5th destination to the same continent and even more so for AUS which has no feed – other than a little from AA that could easily flow over hubs. AUS exists as a large local market – essentially all that Virgin can support to LHR – or a city which feeds foreign hubs – which LHR is for BA, AMS is for KL and FRA is for LH.

    When you look at AUS relative to other non-hub cities, AUS is very well positioned on international air service. RDU has supported AA to LHR for years while DL recently added CDG and is bringing it back. Other than Iceland and other hubs that work w/ narrowbodies, that is likely all RDU will get esp. since RDU demand is returning slower than other cities. AUS still does better than CVG, PIT and other non-hub cities that have transatlantic service. BNA desperately wants more international service and DL will probably give it to them when their new international terminal opens.

    What every city wants is transpacific service and that includes AUS. Problem is that the Japan market is limited access because HND is limited access and AA and UA have competing hubs with their partners at HND and NRT which reduces the amount of cities that can support air service.
    Seoul is now the best positioned city to support service to Asia and that will improve as the Korean/Asiana merger is finalized and duplicated slots between KE and OZ are freed up. The new DL pilot agreement requires DL to share in the growth of its partners’ new flights more than has been the case in the past so there is a good chance that DL will add a bunch of ICN service in order to support the KE/OZ merger. AUS and BNA are both candidates for service on DL or KE due to the strong mixed and growing economies including tech and manufacturing and tourism.

  10. @Tim Dunn ” RDU has supported AA to LHR for years” basically one corporate contract

    There has been much discussion of a KE flight here for awhile. It is the most likely flight to Asia for Austin, while JL is quite conservative in their route expansion even apart from NRT/HND issues.

    However it ultimately makes far more sense for KE to operate the flight than for DL to, for aircraft positioning reasons. Delta would have to run a widebody to and from Austin to support the flight, or they’d have to pretty inefficiently base it there.

  11. President Biden should allow more gates and dare the DOT or city or Southwest to sue him.

    Or build bus gates and don’t call them gates. Eventually force Southwest to use some of those “gates”.

    Another way is to remove one gate and rebuild it as something like “gate 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D, 5E, 5F” so 6 additional gates.

  12. Yet another way is to split Love Field into two airports. The new second part of the airport would have a few gates that are not counted towards that 20 gate limit. The old Legend Airlines terminal might be a start.

  13. Derek,
    the terminal is not the problem. The problem is the amount of noise that commercial aircraft make and the agreements the City of Dallas – heavily at Southwest’s behest – to cut the number of gates to reduce commercial aircraft noise. Remember that the original intent was for Love Field to not even serve commercial traffic after DFW opened but the city blew it and tried to keep general aviation – which DAL still has alot of – and WN argued successfully that they were exempt from the DFW lease agreements and then have engaged in one legal move after another.
    This move is honestly one of the very few if not the first that WN has lost regarding Love Field.

    As for your comment, Gary, JL has no choice but to be conservative because of its financial history but also because Japan is a shrinking country – unlike most of Asia – and the two Tokyo airport solution leaves HND with only enough slots (right now) to serve top cities in the US and average transpac fares at HND are climbing while they are falling at NRT which is increasingly just becoming a transfer hub – an expensive one at that.

    S. Korea is a growing economy, has almost as good of geography to serve the rest of Asia, and ICN has one of the best destination portfolios in Asia and will have room to grow again once the duplicate KE/OZ route systems are rationalized.

    KE is a better choice to operate to AUS and BNA because the 787-9 which KE operates is smaller than DL’s A350-900s and has fewer premium seats and DL is reportedly on the verge of reconfiguring its A350s to reduce the total number of seats and add even more premium seats. AUS is beyond the range of Delta’s A330-900s.
    The same principles apply to BNA which is also gunning for a transpac flight and is extending a runway to support one.
    Since the new DL pilot contract (in voting) requires Delta to add more flights if KE grows or even adds the DL code to OZ flights during the transition so DL will have to grow into the major coastal hubs that KE and OZ serve. DL clearly would like to serve LAX and JFK to ICN and those markets are better suited for the A350-1000 which DL is also expected to buy.

    So, AUS is likely to get a transpac flight and it will likely be a city that will be served by the foreign carrier partners of the big 3 rather than on US metal.

    btw, DL rotates crew and aircraft for its CVG and RDU to CDG flights at CDG so your argument about crew or aircraft rotations doesn’t really matter.

  14. Tim writing entire articles in the comments section because delta has ONE gate at love field and Austin still Isn’t a focus city by any possible past delta usage of the term.
    You’d think Delta just turned love field into a hub.

  15. Max,
    once again, you are fixated about what other people write rather than contributing something to the discussion itself which Gary himself made about DAL and AUS.
    Delta’s addition of one gate at DAL IS significant whether you want to accept it or not. Southwest for years has been able to control access at DAL to its benefit and done everything it could to control 18 of the 20 gates and limit competition.
    Delta SUCCESSFULLY fought the actions of American, Southwest and United to limit Delta’s ability to grow.
    In the process, American effectively lost one gate even when/if it tries to return to Love Field while United doesn’t fly there at all – not unlike MDW and HOU.

    Delta’s expansion at DAL is far more than about 2 new routes but about Delta winning a legal contest that played about for nearly a decade.

    And Gary’s interest is in Austin – which is understandable – and the related international discussions fit that.

    YOU are welcome to contribute to any discussion ON THE SUBJECT even including your own opinions. You are not welcome to throw fits because someone posts that you don’t want to hear from.

    [redacted -gl]

  16. Unless something has changed AA, still owns the two gates at DAL and is just leasing them. As I recall, at some point later this decade, AA can resume flights from DAL and they have been saying they will fully use them. When DL’s lease comes up for renewal in 2028, this battle may begin again. I would not expect AA to do DL any favors.

    The wording that DL has ‘leased’ the gates to me says AA still owns two of them. Alaska has a bad habit of using only one gate at a time and will make flights hold for up to an hour because only one gate is staffed. If the flight blocks in, they start the clock on their bag delivery guaranty, so their solution on more than one occasion is to hold the flight off the gate and bring it in when the prior flight leaves. I am speaking from personal experience here.

  17. Roberto,
    replying to comments that you don’t want to see is an interesting strategy.

    Multiple Delta employees have posted anonymously on multiple sites (take it FWIW) that Delta’s president told employee groups last fall that Delta was asking the board for approval to buy the A350-1000 and then the rumor grew quiet.
    Since that time, Delta updated its investor guidance which included increasing its capital spending by about $4 billion in 2023 and 2024 over what they previously said earlier in the year. Capex can include spending other than aircraft but that amount of increase is unlikely to not include alot of additional aircraft above what Delta previously announced.
    Delta typically only provides a detail of its future spending by aircraft type once per year and that usually is in their annual 10K which is filed with the SEC in February.
    After providing their updated guidance for capex at their December investor update, Delta reached a settlement with its pilots union and the pilots are voting on it now. The contract also includes a new global scope agreement which ALPA believes is very positive for Delta pilots and, as I noted above, requires Delta to grow its international network more aggressively.
    It is not likely that Delta will announce any new aircraft orders while the pilots are voting so as not to influence the voting. They converted some A200-300 options to orders but that aircraft is not as sensitive to pilots. They might have had to make a commitment to Airbus and so had to sign a contract; for all we know, they could have pulled aircraft forward on Airbus’ order book and could have ordered additional models. The same is true for Boeing. Airbus and Boeing often do not announce orders for a period as their customers request.
    Delta will very likely order the A350-1000 because it is more capable, has longer range, and has better per seat costs. Unlike AA and UA which have the larger B777-300ER, the A350-900 is DL’s largest aircraft.
    Pay attention as the Delta pilot contract voting ends in a couple weeks and as Delta provides more detail on its aircraft orders as well as some sort of conclusion to the long-running Korean and Asiana merger which is working through foreign government approvals including from the US.
    Delta is very likely to order the A350-1000 and announce even more int’l routes even before those aircraft show up.

    And it is almost certain that the only way a Delta A350 will show up in Texas will be as part of a sports charter.

  18. Gary has deleted posts of yours and he is about to do the same here.
    You clearly are incapable of contributing to the discussion at hand because you are fixated on me.

    Get help and find something else to do with your time.

  19. What a strange reply from someone with a redacted post above directed to me. One of us has been entirely banned from aviation websites. it isn’t me, Timmy. 😉
    Take a break from the comments as many blog owners have suggested to you. Work on your credibility and independent thinking.

    You don’t even work for Delta anymore.

  20. As ever, I’m truly honored you seem to memorize my comments Tim and say they’ve been deleted. I think I’ve seen one comment redacted but I haven’t noticed one deleted but I also don’t have your kind of time on my hands.

    You really do flatter me by memorizing my comments and their current status in the blog section.

  21. The topic is Delta in Texas. Gary decided that is what he wanted to talk about.
    Why is that you and your ilk here and elsewhere NEVER can manage to discuss the topic at hand and focus on other users?
    Do you honestly think your temper tantrums have or will change what I do one iota?

  22. Appears the DAL settlement is a fair outcome in that none of the main litigants received everything wished for as a desired outcome. With a mere five years until leases expire, the settlement should be satisfactory until 2028.

    Regarding AUS, I suspect the increase in DL activity is due to DL not being in compliance with current AUS gate usage rules. This is a safe expansion – increase of frequency over existing routes – to better align the carrier with aviation department gate usage policy.

  23. Since the goal was for Southwest to not allow any other carrier into the airport and to argue for a low cost carrier to replace Alaska, none of which are strong enough to compete against WN, WN is the loser. Since Delta is more than doubling and nearly tripling the number of seats from Love Field by going from 440 seats per day on 4 717s to 1 city all the way to 9 A319s to 3 cities and the 3 of the top 5 destinations from Dallas, it is hard to say that Delta lost anything.
    Given that Delta’s original ask was to be able to fly 14-15 flights per day but including some RJs in the schedule, they aren’t getting all they want but they still have room to grow the number of seats they offer by using larger aircraft (the turn time on an A320 vs an A319 is probably only 5-10 more minutes) and they still could fly more flights – gate 15 was seeing up to 5 DL flights and 10 WN flights – DL did more than ok.
    And the City of Dallas is paying Alaska for part of the lease it cannot use while American will not be able to regain use of both gates when it returns, AA also lost.

    Delta’s greatest loss was time – but the pandemic ate up 3 of the 7 plus years this went on.

    And Delta grew AUS earlier using the gates it already had and still has room to grow while AA and WN are tapped out on gates so DL is still coming out ok

  24. Of course Delta isn’t getting their christmas tree wishlist that they never expected to get – more than a gate when they had only previously been subleasing a gate they underutilized – that’s a meaningless point of comparison.

  25. “while American will not be able to regain use of both gates when it returns, AA also lost.”
    To be blunt, tim. You don’t know this, like much of what you post but still type. Delta’s lease was with United when United leased their two gates to southwest, not aa and their two gates.
    If AA has the right to get their gates back in 2024 after the full expiration of the wright amendment, and they want them (both very big ifs and probably some kind of judicial ruling involved in AA’s DAL gates since DOJ was involved in why they couldn’t use them today), it would be pretty easy to see Southwest as the party that needs to provide delta with a gate, not aa. AA has leased to delta in the past but not when any of the parties involved in the lawsuit were fighting over the UA sublease to WN.
    In that case, it would be much more likely to see delta go back to their partial gate usage to ATL they had at the time UA leased their gates to WN.
    The city of dallas found an easy short term solution with the AS gate but that doesn’t mean it works long term.

    But again, hardly a surprise that you look for some strange “delta won. Aa lost” way of spinning it, as usual. Your mind is a fascinating place.

  26. Tsk, tsk, tsk….doesn’t surprise me that Mr. Mayor decided to turn this legal settlement into a “winners” and “losers” discussion. Further – I suppose as is to be expected – good ol’ Delta is made out to be a “winner”.

    Keen observers of this particular iteration of the Love Field saga will recall that the issue began (circa 2012) in the wake of DoT’s imposition of conditions for the US merger. At said time, DL was subleasing the two former AA gates at DAL. With the DoT mandated forfeiture, DL desired to acquire both gates. Subsequently, DL announced plans to expand its DAL flight schedule to 22 daily mainline departures despite not having clear & free title to the gates.

    Ultimately, Virgin America obtained the gates (in furtherance of DoT’s signalled desire for a “low-cost” penetration into a restricted market), which then set off the evictions, temporary “stays of execution” (i.e., subleases), subleases at exorbitant rates, etc.

    I was attempting to be charitable in characterizing the settlement. The axiomatic view is to assert that fairness in the rendering of certain judgments/settlements has been successfully achieved when the litigants receive partial (vs. full) recourse.

    On the basis of an arbitrary “winners” vs. “losers” assessment – I’d suggest that United is the clearest winner in light of DoT doctrine (airport access, FMV with regard to subleasing gates) essentially prevailing in this case.

  27. it is simplistic and inaccurate to think that any agreement benefits every party equally.

    Southwest’s clear intent for years has been to dominate its “hub” airports and that was esp. true at Love Field. They did all they could to keep Delta out including spending over a hundred million dollars for two gates – far in excess of what they spent to built the facility in the first place. And then Southwest tried to argue that simple property laws dictated that DL should be kicked out – and they lost because that is simply not accurate.

    There are at least 3 principles of law that intersected and had to be sorted out in order to come to a final decision that allowed Delta to gain a gate of its own and to grow.
    1. Property laws which allow assets to be transferred from one party to another.
    2. All of the Wright Amendment related legislation which limited competition in N. Texas to the benefit of AA and WN and kept each of them in separate “boxes” and out of each others’ ways.
    3. Airport access requirements which require that all federally funded airports to provide access to new entrants and to accommodate any airline that is serving an airport even if leases are changed that would otherwise exclude a carrier that operates at an airport.

    and then you have the DOJ order which gave access to AS as part of the AA/US merger.

    WN tried to argue that simple property laws allowed them to kick Delta out of Love Field when UA allowed WN to buy UA’s gates which DL was leasing. The courts quickly rejected that argument and DL remained while the case was settled.

    WN then tried to argue that all of the Wright related laws exempted Love Field from airport access requirements and the FAA very quickly rejected that notion and threatened the City of Dallas with withholding federal funding for DAL if they didn’t comply w/ their federal access requirements.

    FAA access requirements prioritize the order of who gets access to gate space and DL met the requirements for access by applying for additional space BEFORE WN released a schedule that took its 18 gates – including the 2 UA gates that WN paid enormously for – to 10 flights/day which the City of Dallas has said is a full schedule per gate.

    The courts and FAA did not require WN or AS to rollback its schedule but said that Delta had to remain at WN’s gate 15 and have first access to any unused gates.
    When AS failed to utilize its two gates to minimum use requirements, Delta got one of them. Instead of holding out for both gates, Delta settled and got a single gate which allowed it to grow.

    American cannot retake the gate which Delta now occupies because Delta has a lease with the City of Dallas through 2028.
    Delta and Alaska, if it chooses to remain, cannot be forced out of DAL if they both choose to operate -regardless of what Dallas does with new leases.
    AS underutilized its gate and AA inherits the consequences of AS’ decision.

    American will get back one gate which it can use to the amount it and AS can schedule. Delta is operating enough flights that it cannot be forced to share with anyone.

    United financially won while Southwest lost by paying massively for 2 gates which did not succeed at keeping Delta out.
    United will be the only one of the big 4 that will not be at Love Field – not unlike at HOU. AA and UA both do not serve MDW but DL does.

    Delta might not have gotten 100% but it by far is the biggest winner.

  28. Who cares. DL is last place in TX. They lost Austin to SW and AA and remember the hub at DFW, yay, no one does, it was a flop. DL may have the South, but they don’t have TX or the Southwest. I give these a year or less.

  29. Has anyone actually read the whole decision? Leases are usually temporary and I see nothing permanent about a lease which is valid until 2028.

    I have skimmed several articles, and I do not see anything about AA no longer owning the gates. I would expect that when the AS and DL leases end, that AA will want to fully reclaim their gates.

    I know DL evidently wants to stay at DAL, but leases end and companies have to move out even if they do not want to. AS does not seem all that interested in DAL, and they are a OW partner. I don’t see a big fuss coming from them, but I sense that AA will want to reclaim all their property at some point. Again, I am not seeing anything anywhere that says AA no longer owns the two gates.

    DL could have saved themselves a lot of time and energy had they just worked out a deal with UA before WN did. The DAL drama has moved past annoying and it would be nice if it would just all end. I feel like it is going to start again in 2028.

  30. Delta’s goal never was to overtake AA or WN in AUS which were both larger than DL for years. They didn’t lose anything.
    And DL closed its DFW hub in order to build LGA and JFK where it is the largest carrier and also is in NYC as a whole based on local passengers and flights.
    Every airline has strengths and there are dozens of markets where DL is the largest airline.
    NYC and LAX are definitely not in the South and DL is the largest in both of them.

    DL’s goal in AUS appears to be the largest in all of the markets they serve from AUS, connect to their global network, and to overtake UA – which they have done.

    At Love Field, DL will be the only global carrier until/unless AA comes back and as long as AS doesn’t violate the minimum gate utilization requirements before AA can come back.
    And UA won’t be at Love Field and Southwest will have a legitimate competitor to LGA and LAX on top of ATL.

    DL has succeeded at making DAL what MDW and HOU are for DL – a 2nd airport in a WN hub in AA and UA hub metros. It doesn’t matter who cares.
    It matters that DL achieved what it set out to do and gains a competitive advantage in other carrier strength markets

  31. Lol.. you hear the news that DL is expanding in Austin; and then when you read more.. even more flights to their hubs.. Clearly DL trying to save face by saying they are third largest there. This is pretty much a joke, but guess what, this the typical DL PR hype… who cares

  32. ks,
    in case you missed it, airlines make money flying where they sell tickets.
    Should we discount all of AA, UA and WN’s “hub” flights from AUS because they don’t go to leisure destinations?
    And DL also flies all mainline aircraft except for RDU which will be 2 CRJ900s so uses its gates more efficiently than AA.

    AUS isn’t a hub for anyone. It is simply a collection of hub and point to point flights.

    And Delta is the 3rd largest airline at AUS based on revenue now and will be by capacity by this summer. How they do that doesn’t matter one iota to the people or city of Austin. It brings seats to/from the region which is what they need and which no other carrier can do much more of right now which also explains why they are doing it.

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