Southwest, which already controlled 16 of the 20 gate spots at Love Field, Dallas' second airport, has been approved to buy two more from United, in a move that could freeze Delta out altogether.
The gate slots are highly prized because the airport is newly renovated, newly freed from restrictions that meant it could only serve a few cities outside Texas, and much closer to downtown than AA-dominated DFW.
American was forced to give up its two gates at Love as part of its merger approval; after a hot bidding battle, they were won by Virgin America. Now United is selling its two to Southwest and leaving the field. Delta has been a subtenant at the United gates, but Southwest is only promising to make space for them through July 6.
Since the end of the restrictions, known as the Wright Amendment, Southwest has been adding new routes and new flights to the Love Field hub, and wants to add even more.
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