Posted: May 10, 2014 11:24 AM
Updated: May 10, 2014 11:24 AM
DALLAS (AP) The Dallas Love Field two-gate debate lives on.
The Dallas city manager, A.C. Gonzalez, at week's end delayed his decision on which carrier will get two gates at Love Field being surrendered by American Airlines after its 2013 merger with US Airways.
Gonzalez on Wednesday said his decision would come Friday as Virgin America and Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. seek to operate those gates at close-to-downtown Love Field.
But a city statement Friday night said Gonzalez continues to review the Love Field gate leases issues.
"The city manager in consultation with the city attorney continues to review and consider all the relevant information regarding the Love Field gate leases," the statement said.
Virgin America has said the U.S. Department of Justice already decided it should get the gates to increase competition at Love Field.
Richard Branson, the celebrity British billionaire, jetted into Dallas for a rally and YouTube video that were part of California-based Virgin's cheeky, high-profile bid for the gates. Branson's Virgin Group is a minority owner of the airline.
Southwest Airlines, was once known for clever marketing stunts, has played it straight this time. Southwest lobbied behind the scenes, telling city officials in its hometown that it would add more flights to more places than Virgin.
Delta Air Lines Inc. also wanted the gates but faded from the picture after the Justice Department dismissed it as one of the giant airlines responsible for declining competition in the air-travel business.
American and U.S. Airways merged in December to create the world's biggest airline.
To settle a Justice Department lawsuit, American agreed to give up two gates each at airports in Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Miami and surrender some of its prized takeoff and landing slots at New York's LaGuardia and Washington's Reagan National airports.
A 1980 federal law, known as the Wright Amendment, restricted flights from Love Field to protect nearby Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Those federal limits expired in mid-October, clearing the way for long-haul direct flights from Love Field.