Passenger airline traffic soared nearly 37 percent at the city airport in November — the first full month of expanded flights after flying restrictions ended there — from a year earlier, according to data released today. Love Field also saw a nearly 10 percent increase in traffic in October, when some airlines had only been flying some extra flights for half of the month.
The expiration of the Wright amendment on Oct. 13 let Southwest Airlines and other carriers fly nonstop to any U.S. state or U.S. territory.
The Wright amendment, which became federal law in 1980 to protect Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, initially allowed short flights from Love Field to other Texas cities and adjacent states. A 2006 revision let Love Field carriers fly to other U.S. airports after making a stop in Wright amendment cities.
Since Oct. 13 at Love Field, Southwest Airlines has increased flying by nearly 30 percent, Virgin America moved its operations there from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with 13 daily flights and Delta Air Lines began flying larger planes on five daily trips to Atlanta.
Tomorrow, Southwest will add four daily flights from Love Field to San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., completing – at least for now – its expansion there.
Those new flights mean Dallas-based Southwest will have increased its Love Field flying by about 30 percent since Oct. 13 — from 118 daily departures to 153 to 33 cities.
Southwest’s passenger traffic increased by 6 percent and its load factor — how full planes fly — rose 1.5 points in November, the latest data available for airlines.
Virgin America’s passenger traffic increased by 2.8 percent and its load factor was up 2.3 points in November.
(Sheryl Jean - The Dallas Morning News)