Virgin America Will Get Two Love Field Gates After All

Categories: Transportation

VirginAmericaSFO.jpg
Angelo DeSantis
It's official: the city of Dallas has agreed to let Virgin America move into Love Field.

"After consideration of a number of factors, the City of Dallas has provided its consent to the sub-lease to Virgin America requested by American Airlines," City Manager A.C. Gonzalez said in a statement released Monday afternoon.

American's sub-lease of two Love Field gates was mandated by the Justice Department as part of an antitrust settlement. Southwest Airlines and Delta had also been vying for the gates, but their chances seemed to wither when American and Virgin reached a deal, which was approved by the Justice Department last month.

See also: Dallas Still Trying to Decide Whether to Meddle With Virgin's Love Field Deal

At Dallas City Hall, however, appearances can be deceiving. Rather than simply sign off on the deal, as the majority of people not on Southwest Airlines' payroll think he should have done, Gonzalez balked. The city commissioned a study that reached the perplexing conclusion that hometown Southwest, which currently controls 16 of Love Field's 20 gates, would do a better job of increasing competition than Virgin. He sought the input of a City Council committee, then the full City Council. He announced and then missed a Friday deadline for a decision, even though WFAA was reporting as early as Thursday night that he'd made up his mind.

Virgin CEO Richard Branson, meanwhile, was doing tequila shots at The Rustic and making weird double entendres.

In his statement, Gonzalez portrays the delay as a proper exercise of due diligence rather than, oh I dunno, a trial balloon to see if Dallas travelers would riot if Southwest was installed as their all-powerful Love Field overlord.

Contrary to reports, this was not a competition. While initially, The City was told to expect a collaborative process, the Justice Department eventually required American Airlines to sub-lease the Love Field gates to a chosen airline. The City was presented with the sub-lease.

Rather than simply signing the sub-lease presented to us, we took some additional time to make sure our actions would be responsible and capture the vision of the Justice Department's selected carrier. This was accomplished by incorporating Virgin's publicly stated intentions into a compliance agreement. The major elements are:

- Commits Virgin to the standards included in the City's noise abatement program
- Clarifies and expands how any unused gate space might be made accessible to other airlines
- Protects the City from possible legal expense through an indemnification clause

I appreciate the airline carriers who showed interest in the two gates. We are excited about how the lifting of some Wright Amendment restrictions will expand opportunities and choices for Dallas residents and the traveling public. We look forward to working with Virgin America and welcome them to Dallas Love Field.

Mayor Mike Rawlings chimed in with a statement of his own:

I applaud Mr. Gonzalez for his thorough approach to making this important decision. I support his approval of the sublease between American Airlines and Virgin America because it is best for the citizens of Dallas. I look forward to welcoming Virgin America to Love Field Airport with open arms.

Yes. Open arms. That's what those were.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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21 comments
lilythomas514
lilythomas514



ᴡʜᴀᴛ Mɪᴄʜᴇᴀʟ ɪᴍᴘʟɪᴇᴅ I'ᴍ sᴜʀᴘʀɪsᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴀɴʏ ʙᴏᴅʏ ᴄᴀɴ ɢᴇᴛ ᴘᴀɪᴅ $4101 ɪɴ ᴏɴᴇ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ . ʙʟᴏɢ ʟɪɴᴋ 



---------------d­ℴ­­ℯ­­­s­­j­­ℴ­b­­s.cℴm------------GET-work-at-home-


ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Branson made iconoclastic media darling SWA look stodgy. Good for him.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

The DOJ does not do "collaborative" processes.  It issues orders, sometimes disguised as recommendations, but still orders.  It expects competent people to understand the recommendations are orders.  We batted the big zero on that score at all levels of city government.

royaleconqueso
royaleconqueso

Nice writeup EN

Anyone have details on those weird double-entendres?  

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Man, the comments over at the aviation blog on the DMN are sweet and WylieH is laying the smack down

casiepierce
casiepierce

"Due diligence"? In other words, the City Council just wanted to make sure that Richard Branson knew it exists...

tdkisok
tdkisok

If Dallas did not approve those gates the lawsuits would come and it would cost millions. You see, the city is about MAKING money, not spending it. 

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Congratulations to Virgin America on finding the right people to pay off. That can be tough in this city.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Who was the 'insultant' who did the study? Whose cousin/butt buddy? Ron Kirk's wife?

That Gonzalez just has to muddle in everything. What a turd.

jetmagellan
jetmagellan

Finally, no more peanuts. Thank God. (urp!) 


Greg820
Greg820

Trying to come up with a joke about Virgin Love Gates. . . ., damn writer's' block!

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

Did the right people get contributions?

wilme2
wilme2

And waste some more time...

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

please excuse this comment, I may have been drunk when I commented last night

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

P1Gunter

Dunno what the hell you mean, I didn't get a dime.

WatchingSouthDetroit
WatchingSouthDetroit

Gonzalez showed his lack of integrity with the Yellow Cab/Uber fiasco - he showed he was nothing more than Yellow cab's lap dog - he is as dirty as they come.  That the city council hired him as manager shows their lack of integrity as well.

Bobtex
Bobtex

@ozonelarryb Yeah, Gonzalez just muddles in everything.  Who does he think he is, the city manager? The guy whose job is to run the city?

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