The hearing all comes down to who was promised what and who has that promise in writing. Officials with Delta Airlines claim federal law gives the company the right to operate out of the Love Field gates. They say because the airport belongs to the public, the public has the right to competition.
Southwest Airlines made the counterargument that Delta isn’t being blocked from the marketplace because the airline has gates at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, just eight miles away.
Judge Ed Kinkeade’s courtroom was filled with attorneys, not only from Southwest and Delta but also from American, Virgin America and United Airlines. There were also legal representatives there from the federal government and the City of Dallas.
At one point Judge Kinkeade seemed flustered and said the enter matter is, “Really a policy issue that should be settled somewhere other than the courts.”
As it stands, Delta has one gate at Love Field and uses it for five daily flights. But Gate 15 is controlled by Southwest Airlines and they have told the airline they need to be out by September 30. Delta wants to stay. If Delta loses it may be forced to send passengers to DFW Airport for flights that have already been booked.
Court recessed for the day at 5 p.m. Monday and will resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday..
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