News and notes from Hartsfield-Jackson, the world's busiest airport

Delta's fight in Dallas goes to court

Delta Air Lines is in court today over its fight to keep space at Dallas Love Field airport in a battle against rival Southwest Airlines.

Atlanta-based Delta is asking the U.S. District Court in Dallas to allow it to continue operating flights at Love Field pending a Federal Aviation Administration investigation into the matter. The hearing on the matter is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

Dallas-based Southwest controls 18 of 20 gates at Love Field. Delta operates five flights a day to Atlanta on a Southwest gate under a temporary agreement that runs through Wednesday. Southwest wants to take back its gate and said it plans to add more flights.

Southwest is dominant at Love Field, while American Airlines is dominant at Dallas-Fort Worth International. Delta serves DFW, a large international hub, as well as Love Field, which is smaller and closer to downtown Dallas.

In a filing earlier this month, Delta said Southwest's move to oust it would mean "Delta will be forced out of and prohibited from competing at Love Field. Southwest will be left in a 90% monopoly position at Love Field, a position obtained improperly."

Delta said it has a right to be accommodated at Love Field, and said the court should act "to remedy Southwest and United's tortious interference with Delta's right to accommodation through a collusive and anti-competitive transaction designed to block Delta's access to the airport," according to the filing.

Southwest said in its filing that it would be "irreparably damaged if it were required to accommodate Delta's flights" and said that would violate Southwest's lease rights and federal protections.

In Atlanta, Delta and its partners control about 83 percent of the flights. Delta has fought an effort to commercialize the airport in Paulding County as a second airport to offer airline service in metro Atlanta,

Reader Comments ...

About the Author

Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.