Friday, January 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022
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clout Call. Fold. Raise you 200-some-odd flights a day. The stakes in the regional poker game over the repeal of the Wright Amendment are getting higher and higher. And the man with the hand to watch iS ROBERT CRANDALL, CEO of American Airlines.

Crandall announced by way of a stock analysts’ meeting in New York last fall that if Congress lifted the decade-old limit on interstate flights at Love Field, he would move into Love with some “230 flights a day.”

Yikes. That’s a lot of new flights over Highland Park. But wait a minute. Can American do that?

The answer seems to be yes-and maybe not. Many of those trembling at Crandall’s statement don’t know that American is subject to restrictions governing its expansion to nearby airports by a use agreement signed with the D/FW Airport Board in the late Sixties. Most parties agree that American can fly from Love around the state to its heart’s content. But it’s unlikely that Crandall intends to add 230 daily nonstops to Longview, Beeville, and Round Rock. To fly outside the state from Love, American must win a waiver from the 11-member Airport Board. That means AA needs six votes-at least one of which would have to be from Fort Worth.

And what would make an Airport Board member vote to let American take business away from D/FW? Only the fear that American would take away much more in the future. Says board member JAN COLLMER, “It’s like an onion. Every time you peel a layer you find another one. And pretty soon you start to cry.”

The interested parties are eagerly awaiting an independent report from Peat Mar-wick, which will forecast the consequences of the removal of the Wright restrictions. For now. poker faces prevail.

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