Delta Air Lines will take over gates emptied by American Eagle Airlines at Dallas Love Field to inaugurate service to Memphis, Tennessee on 6 July.
Operating as Delta Connection, Pinnacle Airlines will fly Bombardier CRJ200s thrice daily on the route.
It will assume gates exited on 11 June by American Eagle, which is nixing six daily roundtrips to Chicago due to the economic slowdown, and because a $519 million construction project at the facility makes operations difficult, says an airline spokeswoman.
She adds that the regional will return to Love Field after construction is finished as American Airlines inked a 17-year lease with the airport through 2028.
In the meantime, the airport's three concourses will be replaced with a singular, T-shaped concourse.
Spurred by primary tenant Southwest Airlines, construction will begin with the June demolition of the north concourse. The new concourse is scheduled to be completed in 2013, before the full lifting of nonstop flight restrictions at Love Field is lifted in October 2014.
Introduced in the 1970s to protect the then newly-built Dallas/Forth Worth International airport from competition, the Wright Amendment now limits Love Field nonstop flights to within Texas and to Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
Love Field had roughly 4.28 million enplanements in calendar 2008, but that figure is expected to reach 5.9 million within the first year of the repeal, with a gradual increase to 7.9 million in 2025, says Terry Mitchell, assistant director of aviation for airport owner the city of Dallas.
With Delta's arrival, Love Field will continue to be served by three airlines including Continental Airlines' Continental Express.