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Richard Branson To Join Virgin’s Fight For Love Field Gates

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Stephanie Lucero
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The fight over who gets two gates at Dallas Love Field Airport will heat up on Monday, as Virgin America’s Richard Branson will touch down in North Texas.

Branson will host a rally Monday night in the Uptown area of Dallas, as the airline continues to seek support for its entry into Love Field. Virgin America has been awarded the gates by the Department of Justice, but the City of Dallas has not yet approved the move.

The airline launched a website over the weekend, FreeLoveField.com. As of Monday morning, nearly 20,000 supporters had signed a petition on the site, asking the city to make it a “fare fight” at the airport.

The gates became available during American Airline’s bankruptcy and merger with U.S. Airways.

Just last week, a consultant advised the Dallas City Council to award the gates to Southwest Airlines. Of the 20 gates at the airport, Southwest currently controls 16 of them. City officials will get a look at all of the facts on Wednesday.

The value of the gates at Love Field will increase in October, when restrictions known as the Wright Amendment expire.

Virgin America has said it plans to move its flights from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Love Field and offer nonstop service to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York LaGuardia, and Washington Reagan, then add Chicago O’Hare next year.

The airline is already selling tickets on its website.

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