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Southwest wants Charlotte-to-Dallas flight

Southwest Airlines said this week that it plans to add a flight from Charlotte to Dallas Love Field, if the carrier wins two airport gates that American Airlines was ordered to give up as a condition of its recent merger with US Airways.

Southwest started flying from Charlotte Douglas International Airport last year, and has nonstop service to Baltimore Washington International, Chicago Midway, Houston Hobby and Orlando International airports.

Charlotte is among a dozen new nonstop destinations that Southwest said it will add from Love Field if it gets the gates. “Access to two additional gates would allow Southwest to provide North Texas residents and visitors with the benefits of new nonstop flights to 12 additional destinations that would not otherwise be possible,” the company said in a statement.

The company also said it would add flights from Love Field to Raleigh and Charleston with the gates. Average airfare from Dallas to the proposed new destination would drop by $100 as a result of Southwest’s new flights, according to a study produced for the company.

Southwest is expanding its flights from Love Field because of the expiration later this year of a law that restricts nonstop flights from there to other sites in Texas and several neighboring states.

Delta Air Lines and Virgin America also have expressed interest in the American gates at Love Field, which the Justice Department is set to award in the coming months.

Charlotte Douglas is one of the most concentrated hub airports in the nation, with American Airlines accounting for about 90 percent of daily departures.

Portillo: 704-358-5041; Twitter: @ESPortillo
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