actually, dawg, there are a couple new items to discuss because the contents of the court filings haven't been made public but there are tidbits here.
first, COD says that if DAL can fully handle WN's current schedule of 180 flights as well as DL's current flights, then there is little reason to argue that DL should be forced to leave. They are right but they are also looking for an out from the argument.
DL doesn't care if WN operates 240 flights/day from its gates as long as DL has the space to operate not only its current flights but also the 8 it asked for, which are confirmed again here with the dates that show that DL made its request before WN announced its schedule.
again, no one expected that WN would not fill its gates but DOT rules say that carriers cannot hold gates and fill up the schedules at a later date just to keep competitors out. DL knew the window in which it had to act to request additional flights and did so at the appropriate time - before WN announced its schedule.
"Delta has accused Southwest of boosting its schedule to keep Delta out. It said it asked Feb. 23 for the right to add eight more flights as of Aug. 15.
As of that date, “it was possible to accommodate an additional eight daily Delta flights at Love Field in light of the incumbent carriers’ then-current gate usage and without impacting their current or already announced, for-sale services,” Delta said in a filing last week. “Not coincidentally, on Feb. 26, 2015, Southwest first announced its intention to expand its flight schedule at Love Field to 180 daily flights as of Aug. 9, 2015.”
while some people want to turn this into a warring contest between two airlines that compete very efffectively against each other thruout the US, this issue is simply about DL gaining access to DAL which is exactly what it wants to do and based on every legal document that has been presented, has the right to do so.
The DOT and DOJ aren't in conflict with each other and it is only by trying to argue that they are that WN and DAL have tried to make a case to kick DL out.
The fact that DAL is now saying that "maybe it is possible to figure out out to keep all parties at DAL operating the flights they want" is indication that DAL knows that it needs to find a solution.
DL is not trying to reduce WN's operation as long as DL can operate its current and requested flights.
There is no other airline that come along and do the same thing again and DL can't add more flights. The 193 or 194 flights out of the 18 gates is all it will ever be. And if VX pulls back its operation as is expected, then WN and DL could easily spread their operation over VX' gates because it is doubtful that VX could argue - and the DOJ won't do it for them - that if VX doesn't use the space it has been given, it has to accommodate other carriers.
given that the DOJ made the AA gate transfer for 2 whole gates, they vastly limited the number of carriers that can successfully compete against WN at their HDQ hub. DL has the greatest ability to fill 2 gates worth of flying but it is only asking for 13 or 14 flights, depending on the number of "grandfathered" ATL flights that are counted (DL has operated 5 or 6 depending on the date).
This issue will blow over. DL will be at DAL and as long as WN can figure out how to work its 180 flights out of 16.5 gates, everyone will be happy.
and then I would also not be surprised if AA, DL, and WN all decide it is in their JOINT interests to argue for more gates at DAL with some of the new gates being made available for carriers other than WN, for AA to be able to return to DAL, for the limitation on int'l ops at DAL to be removed, and for the requirement that WN give up gates at DAL if it serves DFW be removed.
There is no risk to either DAL or DFW so they should not object in any way to expanding DAL; all of the current clauses only serve to stifle competition.
WN has to figure out how to win over the neighborhood around DAL but I would bet that stating that only the most current generation of aircraft will be used is enough.
AA and DL could be on WN's side in that fight to expand DAL IF they get something out of the deal... which for AA and DL will be the ability to serve DAL probably with about 2 gates each. Other LCCs and ULCCs will come to DAL if they don't have to fill 2 whole gates which is what the DOJ required.
But first there has to be resolution of the issue regarding DL's presence at DAL which is probably a whole lot closer to resolution than alot of people here want to admit.