DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Virgin America has announced plans to expand its presence in Dallas-Fort Worth by securing two gates at Dallas’ Love Field Airport.
If successful, the airline will move its current operations from DFW International Airport to Love Field in October, when flights are expected to begin, and after the Wright Amendment expires.
The airline is planning to offer daily nonstop flights from Dallas to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
Virgin prefers Love Field over DFW International Airport because its “centralized location makes it a more convenient choice for Dallas-based and Dallas-destined business travelers.”
“Dallas is a major economic center, and as such, it deserves more business-friendly flight competition from the airport closest to the Central Business District,” said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. “The opportunity to expand our low-fare, upscale service in Dallas, allows us to not only spur fare competition for local consumers, but also provide business travelers with more choice and consistent flight options, so they can stay connected, comfortable and productive on these longer-haul flights.”
The airline claims it will be the only airline at Love Field offering guests WiFi, in-seat power outlets, and touch-screen seatback entertainment on every flight.
The airline’s plan is contingent upon obtaining the two gates at Love Field that are being divested by American Airlines. American is surrendering the gates as part of the U.S. Department of Justice settlement agreement resolving American Airline’s merger with US Airways.
Virgin America believes the new flights from Dallas would provide increased competition, where Southwest Airlines currently controls 16 of 20 gates.
“As the last major airline launched in the U.S., we’ve seen firsthand what happens when new entrant airlines have a chance to come into markets where a few big airlines dominate – service improves and fares drop,” added Cush. “In response to the creation of now four ‘mega-airlines,’ the Justice Department has taken important steps to allow some new entrant competition at key airports in New York, Washington and Dallas.”
Virgin America was launched in 2007 and currently has three daily nonstop flights from both LAX and SFO to DFW as well as its popular SFO-Austin flights.
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