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Being able to fly to and from Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport would be a tremendous boost for Southwest, especially as it's in a hurry to expand its presence in the booming region.

Southwest Airlines currently can’t fly to or from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport – but that could change in the near future.

CEO Robert Jordan said at the Skift Aviation Forum on Wednesday that Southwest is considering establishing a “modest presence” at DFW and is in talks with airport authorities.

That could happen starting in 2025, when restrictions under the Wright Amendment’s repeal sunsets. Under conditions of the repeal, Southwest can’t serve both Love Field and DFW.

Jordan said that while Love Field has been a great home for Southwest, the airport is limited to 20 gates, 18 of which Southwest operates. While the carrier is looking to extend its lease at Love Field with the city, it needs to add flights at DFW to grow in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“We’re constrained,” Jordan said during a discussion with Brian Sumers, founder and editor of industry news site The Airline Observer. “As the Metroplex continues to grow, the constraint at Love Field becomes more and more of an issue because what you could do is more and and more constrained.”

“Job one is making sure that we have the ability to serve the Metroplex, and we are looking at airports beyond Love Field.”

Southwest Chief Operating Officer Andrew Watterson said the carrier would only connect DFW to existing destinations on its route map and not use the airport for any new routes. But Jordan emphatically said that even before securing access to DFW, the company needs to extend its lease at Love Field.

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Tags: dallas/fort worth international airport, dfw, saf2023, skift aviation forum, skift aviation forum 2023, southwest airlines

Photo credit: Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines President and CEO, speaking on stage at Skift Aviation Forum in Fort Worth, TX, November 2023. Skift

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