Southwest adding nonstop flights between Las Vegas and Dallas

Matt York / AP

A Southwest Airlines jet takes flight in this undated file photo.

Southwest Airlines will begin nonstop flights between Las Vegas and Dallas in the fall when an antiquated law restricting flights at Love Field ends.

The Dallas-based airline today announced 15 cities that will get new flights when the federal Wright Amendment expires. Las Vegas had been speculated as one of the likely destinations, but it became official today.

Las Vegas will be among the wave of the first five cities getting the new flights beginning Oct. 13. Flights to 10 other cities begin Nov. 2.

Joining Las Vegas on the list of cities that will get nonstop flights first are Baltimore, Chicago’s Midway Airport, Denver and Orlando.

Others starting Nov. 2: Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Los Angeles, Nashville, Tenn., New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Orange County, Calif., Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa, Fla., and Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

Flight schedules and prices haven’t been announced.

Named for former Rep. Jim Wright, the legislation, enacted in 1979, was designed to spur growth at what was then the new Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. It prohibited planes with 56 or more seats from flying to any city except those within Texas and in four adjacent states. Over the years, the list of exempted states grew by four.

The law has particularly affected Southwest, which has its corporate headquarters at Love Field.

Southwest customers in Las Vegas could fly to and from Love Field, which is closer to downtown Dallas than Dallas-Fort Worth International, but only on flights making a stop in one of the exempted cities.

Aviation experts have speculated that Southwest’s expansion in Dallas could lower fares in the market.

“The official repeal of Wright Amendment federal flight restrictions signifies a turning point for the Southwest brand not just in Dallas, but from coast to coast,” Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement today. “We are pleased to offer this new service to the customers of our home airport, who have waited 34 long years.”