Amarillo, TX - City officials recently met with Southwest Airlines executives in Dallas to discuss the company's future flight plans for Amarillo.
On October 13, the Wright Amendment restricting where airlines like Southwest can fly to out of Dallas Love Field will expire. The expiration of the amendment has caused quite a bit of speculation, but now the city finally has some answers.
City officials said Southwest expects Rick Husband International Airport will see fewer flights after October, but the number of seats available will stay the same. Where those flights will travel to from Amarillo though is still up in the air.
"I think the things that are in question still and that we don't have an answer to is whether we have a flight from here straight to Las Vegas or or a flight from here to Denver," said Mayor Paul Harpole.
Although those flights might disappear, Southwest told the city fliers will have more destination options once they reach Dallas Love Field.
"So what we're looking at is to be able to get out of Amarillo and get to other places that are distant much more efficiently than we probably can today," said Harpole. "But to get from Amarillo to Denver or Las Vegas is questionable. We're not sure how that will happen. Certainly you'd be able to get there going through Dallas, but we'll have to see what happens."
Despite the changes, Harpole said Southwest isn't giving up on Amarillo. "Southwest has been a great partner of the City of Amarillo. They identified us as one of the top cities outside of the Dallas market in Texas for them. They want to keep our relationship strong. They know it's important to them as well us. And with us being a regional center for the Panhandle, they are looking at us closely."
Southwest is still developing their post-Wright Amendment flight schedule and city officials said they should know more about the changes directly affecting Amarillo in May.