D/FW Tweaks Incentives to Draw New Carriers

Jan. 31 -- Officials at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport want more flexibility when it comes to luring carriers to launch new service from the world's third-busiest airport.

The board is expected to approve a change to its air service incentive program Thursday that would allow airport officials to offer prorated incentives to carriers whose new international service doesn't meet the guidelines outlined when the program was launched two years ago.

Under the revised program, carriers would not have to offer an international route for the full 12 to 18 months required, depending on type of aircraft, and would not have to maintain minimum weekly frequencies to be eligible for a lesser financial incentive that is proportionate to the service being offered.

"There are some opportunities that we're chasing right now that this would let us close," said Joe Lopano, D/FW's executive vice president of marketing and terminal management.

Mr. Lopano declined to say which carriers those opportunities might include, except to say the routes would be to Mexico.

The air service incentive program was launched in January 2005 as a way to appeal to carriers as the airport looked to fill gates vacated by Delta Air Lines Inc. and overcome what officials said was reluctance to consider D/FW Airport while the Wright amendment restrictions at Dallas Love Field were being debated.

The program combines marketing assistance of up to $200,000 and more than a year of rebates on landing fees for domestic, international and cargo services, depending on aircraft type.

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