FOR YOUR INFORMATION................................JULY 2, 1992
PROPOSAL TO MODIFY RESTRICTIONS ON LOVE FIELD MAY CUT AIR FARES, RELIEVE CONGESTION AT D/FW AIRPORT FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION STAFF SAYS
A proposal to permit airlines to offer and advertise limited direct and connecting flights from Dallas Love Field to destina- tions beyond a five-state area surrounding the airport could boost competition and relieve congestion at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (D/FW), thus potentially saving consumers both time and money, staff members of the Federal Trade Commis- sion said in comments made public today.
The FTC staff's analysis of the proposal was requested by Dallas City Councilman Jerry Bartos. In a letter signed by the FTC's Dallas Regional Office Director, Tom Carter, the FTC staff noted that while restrictions on flights beyond the five-state area might have been helpful in assuring the initial success of D/FW, the airport is now well established, and modifying the restrictions could offer significant benefits to consumers.
Currently, federal law prohibits commercial airlines from providing service -- nonstop, direct, or connecting -- between Love Field and destinations outside of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The proposed change would maintain the prohibition against nonstop service to points outside the five-state area, but allow airlines to offer and publicize direct and connecting service from Love Field to such destinations through points within the five-state area.
According to the FTC staff comments, prices for tickets from D/FW to destinations that cannot be served from Love Field are significantly higher than fares from Houston to those same destinations. This suggests that loosening restrictions on Love Field may increase competition and lower fares to consumers flying into or out of D/FW.
- more - Love Field--07/02/92)
The staff comments also suggest that fares from Love Field to certain destinations may be reduced. This could result because, under the proposal, passengers who currently must purchase two separate roundtrip tickets to fly from Love Field to destinations outside the five-state area would be permitted to fly to those destinations on a less expensive single ticket.
In sum, the staff said, "Modifying the restrictions on the use of Love Field would likely increase airline competition, increase airport capacity, provide added convenience, and reduce congestion at D/FW. As a result, consumers in Dallas, Fort Worth and elsewhere could benefit substantially." Those resulting benefits could include lower airfares to certain locations from both airports, lower parking and commuting costs, and reduced delays, the staff said.
These comments update the 1989 FTC staff testimony given to the Dallas City Council's Transportation Committee on the Love Field issue. Any recommendation the city might make could be an important factor in Congressional deliberations as to whether to amend the federal law which places the restrictions on Love Field.
These comments represent the views of the FTC's Dallas Regional Office and its Bureau of Economics and not necessarily the views of the Commission or any individual Commissioner.
Copies of the staff comments are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY 202-326- 2502.
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MEDIA CONTACT: Bonnie Jansen, Office of Public Affairs 202-326-2161
STAFF CONTACT: Tom Carter, Dallas Regional Office 100 N. Central Expressway, Suite 500 Dallas, Texas 75201 214-767-5503