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October 24, 2013

Talking about Wright Amendment, Southwest CEO Kelly: "Gosh it feels like it’s 1971 all over again"

Wright Amendment one year away 29[2]Southwest Airlines chief executive Gary Kelly is playing coy when it comes to the Wright Amendment restrictions lifting at Dallas Love Field next year.

Kelly answered several questions about what Southwest plans to do next year with its schedule when nonstop domestic flights to anywhere in the U.S. are allowed out of Love but declined to specify which routes the carrier may implement.

"Gosh it feels like it’s 1971 all over again," Kelly said on a conference call with investors and media on Thursday. "We have a lot more opportunities than we have airplanes so we will be doing our best to prioritize what we do first."

The carrier will likely release its new flight schedule for Dallas Love Field sometime in early 2014, he said.

Kelly said it is possible that the airline will use more of its larger Boeing 737-800 aircraft to fly out of Love Field which will continue to be restricted to a total of 20 gates. Southwest operates 16 gates at the Dallas airport.

One analyst asked Kelly if the carrier will increase its daily departures at the airline from 120 departures up to about 160 daily flights.

"It’s a reasonable assumption that the flight activity will go up," Kelly said.

The carrier reported $85 million in Wright Amendment revenues in the third quarter.

-Andrea Ahles

 

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