DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A landing at Dallas Love Field created some turbulence in North Texas on Thursday. Virgin America flew a jet to the airport and parked it prominently ahead of a news conference on Friday morning. Sources explained that the carrier’s plans even caught city officials off guard.
The jet was parked overnight, but not inside of a hangar with other commercial planes. It was used as a prop during Friday’s event.
The company gathered media members together to announce flights from Dallas Love Field to LaGuardia Airport in New York City, LAX in Los Angeles, San Francisco International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The new routes begin in October, and tickets are already on sale. Chicago will be added to the list of destinations in 2015.
Virgin America added that $20 of every ticket sold over the next two days would be donated to KIP Dallas, and organization which helps kids.
The airline had previously expressed interest in moving from DFW International Airport to Dallas Love Field, using the two gates that American Airlines must give up as part of its US Airways merger deal with the U.S. Justice Department.
According to Virgin America CEO David Cush, this new plan has been approved by American Airlines, but the city must also okay the move. The city’s Twitter page stated on Friday morning, “No decisions have been made regarding carriers operating out of 2 Love Field gates.” A briefing in regards to this issue is scheduled for Monday.
An executive with American Airlines expressed his surprise about the news conference on a Thursday conference call, saying that his company is still talking with the city about Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines, in addition to Virgin America.
Former airline executive Mark Drusch added that Virgin America would force Southwest Airlines to compete on its own turf. “They’ll bring some heat, which means the consumer wins,” Drusch said. A lot of people think that competition would lower airfares at Dallas Love Field.
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