Virgin America, Southwest spar over Dallas airport

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

DALLAS (AP) — The airline Virgin America has enlisted its brightest star, British billionaire Richard Branson, to wage its campaign for space at a Dallas airport.

Branson said Tuesday that Virgin should get the gates at Love Field, near downtown Dallas, to create competition for Southwest Airlines, which controls most of the gates there. The U.S. Justice Department agrees.

Southwest says it needs the gates to compete with an even bigger carrier — American Airlines at nearby Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. American agreed to give up two gates at Love Field to settle a government antitrust lawsuit against its merger with US Airways.

Each side promises that if it wins, travelers will enjoy lower fares.

The Dallas city council is scheduled to consider the fight over the airport gates at a meeting Wednesday.