Not that anyone is particularly surprised, since the Justice Department gave the city no choice, but city manager A.C. Gonzalez officially decided today to accept American Airlines’ sublease of its two gates at Love Field to Virgin America:
“Rather than simply signing the sub-lease presented to us, we took some additional time to make sure our actions would be responsible and capture the vision of the Justice Department’s selected carrier. This was accomplished by incorporating Virgin’s publicly stated intentions into a compliance agreement,” Gonzalez said in a statement.
The agreement includes Virgin America committing to the city’s noise abatement program and clarifies how any unused gate space may be made accessible to other airlines.
Virgin America, which has already begun selling tickets on flights out of Dallas, will launch service at Love Field on Oct. 13. Initially, Virgin will fly 14 daily routes to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C.’s Reagan National and New York’s LaGuardia airports. It plans to add flights to Chicago O’Hare in 2015, operating a total of 18 daily flights on its full schedule next year.
Mayor Mike Rawlings released a statement in support of the decision:
“I applaud Mr. Gonzalez for his thorough approach to making this important decision. I support his approval of the sublease between American Airlines and Virgin America because it is best for the citizens of Dallas. I look forward to welcoming Virgin America to Love Field Airport with open arms.”