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Virgin America Sells Tickets Out Of Love Field, But Still Needs City Of Dallas Approval

Doualy Xaykaothao
Virgin America parked one of its planes at Love Field friday to announce a deal to take over two gates.

Virgin America says it will take over two gates at Love Field, although the city of Dallas has yet to approve this.

In a statement, the city said: "There has been no decision regarding any carriers operating at these gates." 

American Airlines, as part of its December merger with US Airways, was required by the U.S. Department of Justice to give up its gates at Love Field. Southwest and Delta Airlines bid for the gates, but it's not clear who's won.    

But that didn't stop the CEO of Virgin America, David Cush, from flying in a plane, and parking it at Love Field Thursday night. 

On Friday morning, with flight attendants in red uniforms and black cowboy hats standing behind him, he told reporters that the company has reached agreement with American Airlines on a transfer of the gates, pending city approval.

"But we expect that to happen quickly," Cush said. "Because No. 1, we think it's good for the city. I think the citizens will think it's good for the city. ... It is a routine transaction." 

Cush also announced special $79 fares from Love Field to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York's LaGuardia and Washington's Reagan National. The prices are only good until Saturday, before midnight. And those flights are for departures beginning Oct. 13, when the Wright Amendment ends.

That federal law restricted airplanes with more than 56 seats flying out of Love Field for more than three decades. Virgin America's chairman, Don Carty, says Love Field is the most convenient domestic airport for local professionals.

"Dallas deserves more business friendly flight options from the airport that's closest to the central business district," Carty said. "But, like in any industry, when there's more competition, consumers are the winners. This is a big state, and there's room for a little healthy competition at Love."

The City Council's transportation committee will be briefed on the matter Monday, the city said on its Twitter page.


Doualy Xaykaothao is a newscaster and reporter for NPR, based in Culver City. She returned to NPR for this role in 2018, and is responsible for writing, producing, and delivering national newscasts. She also reports on breaking news stories for NPR.