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Rumor has it: Virgin America Wins Dallas Love Gates

Rumor has it: Virgin America Wins Dallas Love Gates

Speculation is flying through the industry over who won the two coveted Dallas Love Field gates given up by American Airlines in the merger with US Airways, but The Dallas Morning News seems to have figured it out.

We have three reasons:

1. A person not connected to Virgin America but with ties to the airline industry said last week that VA officials seemed awfully happy about something.

2. Another person not connected to Virgin America but with ties to the airline industry said this week that VA officials have reportedly been snooping around for a place to hold an event.

3. Virgin America on Wednesday afternoon said it will have a big announcement at an aviation facility along Love Field’s Lemmon Avenue side Friday morning, with CEO David Cush and chairman Don Carty in attendance.

On No. 3, the purpose is “ to discuss the future of our Dallas operations.”

Since Virgin America doesn’t have Dallas operations at present (although it does fly out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport), we’re not hard pressed to guess what it is going to announce.

Dallas-based Southwest, which will control 16 of the 20 gates in the new terminal, had argued that it should get the two additional gates. The 2006 agreement left Love Field as the only North Texas airport where Southwest could expand, the carrier said.

Delta also tried for the gates however, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a March court filing that Delta was “not an appropriate divestiture candidate” for the two Love Field gates.

In making its pitch for the gates, Virgin America said it would offer nonstop flights to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York LaGuardia and Reagan Washington National beginning in October, and would add flights to Chicago O’Hare in February.

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