May 12 Virgin America has won approval from the
City of Dallas to sublease two gates at Love Field airport that
American Airlines Group is giving up under its merger
agreement, the city manager said in a statement on Monday.
The U.S. Justice Department required American and US Airways
to shed assets at various airports including Love Field to
settle antitrust concerns over their merger, which was completed
in December. Justice had earlier approved the acquisition of the
two Love Field gates by San Francisco-based Virgin America.
"We are very pleased to have the opportunity to bring new
competition to Love Field, an important airport for travelers
because of its proximity to the city's central business
district," Virgin America Chief Executive David Cush said in a
Virgin America, in which Richard Branson's Virgin Group
holds a minority stake, plans to offer flights between New
York's LaGuardia, Ronald Reagan Washington National, Los Angeles
and San Francisco airports and Love Field in October. It plans
to move its current operations at the larger Dallas Fort Worth
International Airport to Love Field.
Southwest Airlines Co, which controls 16 of 20 gates
at Dallas Love Field, and Delta Air Lines had also
sought to acquire the two gates. Southwest said in a statement
that it was "very disappointed." Delta did not immediately
provide a comment.
(Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; Editing by Leslie Adler)