Virgin America wants to add flights in Dallas

Virgin America will add flights in Dallas. Photo: Virgin America.

Virgin America will add flights in Dallas. Photo: Virgin America.

Virgin America is branching out from San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The airline announced today that it wants to add 18 new flights from Dallas Love Field. For now, Virgin doesn’t have any gates at the airport, which is considerably closer to downtown Dallas than the much larger Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport, but it wants to acquire from American, which is required by the Justice Department to give its gates up. (Delta wants the gates as well. So does Southwest.)

In October, the federal government will lift long-time restrictions on which destinations can be served by large jets from Love Field. Competitor Southwest Airlines, which already has some gates at Love Field, previously announced its proposed Love Field schedule.

Here’s what Virgin America plans from Dallas. It’s notable because Virgin America has been, since is founding in 2007, a California airline, with just about every flight, touching San Francisco or Los Angeles.

  • DAL to New York (LGA) (four roundtrip flights a day).
  • DAL to Washington (DCA) (four roundtrip flights a day).
  • DAL to LAX (three roundtrip flights a day, expanding to four in 2015).
  • DAL to San Francisco (SFO) (three roundtrip flights a day, expanding to four in 2015).
  • Virgin America also would add two roundtrip flights a day from DAL to Chicago O’Hare in early 2015.

I know many of my readers are incredibly knowledgeable abut the airline industry. So I ask you this question: Will Virgin’s Dallas experiment work?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

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Virgin America offers new service to help you network using LinkedIn

Virgin America

Virgin America thinks you might want to network at 35,000 feet.

Maybe you’re trying to get that awesome new job, and you think another passenger in your same industry can help you. Or perhaps you’re trying to close a sale, and you think someone else on the flight might help you do it.

If you think you might be in one of those scenarios, you’re in luck. Virgin is teaming with Here On Biz, a networking app popular with entrepreneurs. Basically, you download the app, and it will tell you if you have any Linkedin connections on the flight. If you do, you can go chat them up. There’s a fee for internet on Virgin, but you’ll be able to access the Here on Biz app for free through July.

“When we surveyed our business travelers, we were surprised to learn that the ability to connect with other Virgin America travelers in-flight or en route to a destination was a frequent request,” Luanne Calvert, Virgin America’s Chief Marketing Officer, said in a statement. “Given our home in Silicon Valley and network of tech-focused cities as well as the fact that our guests often choose us because they need to stay connected via our fleetwide WiFi, it makes sense.  The best business connections often happen unexpectedly, and we’ve heard many stories of partnerships and start-up ideas being born on our flights.”

Here’s what Virgin says you need to do to make it all work.

1. Download the new Here On Biz iOS app from the mobile app store before your flight.

2. Register a new account using your LinkedIn profile.

3. By the end of February, passengers can start connecting when they log in at a gate or onboard at 35,000 feet via Gogo on Virgin America. App users will be able to connect with other Virgin America guests traveling on their particular flight, other travelers on any Virgin America aircraft currently airborne, or fellow Virgin America guests at their destination.

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After legal settlement, US Airways will give up 2 LAX gates in February

What will American Airlines Group do with a single LAX Terminal 3 gate?

What will American Airlines Group do with a single LAX Terminal 3 gate?

US Airways will move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport in mid-February, but it will have only one gate there, airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles said this week.

US Airways is now part of American Airlines Group, but it will operate as a separate entity for some time. US Airways was long scheduled to move terminals to accommodate a Southwest renovation of Terminal 1. But it was forced to give up two gates at LAX as a result of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice that allowed the merger to proceed. It will be left with only a single guaranteed gate.

“Their new T-3 lease calls for them to have only one preferential (guaranteed) gate, rather than three,” Castles said in an email. “The two unused gates will become common-use gates made available to all tenants in T-3 (i.e., Allegiant Air, Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit, Virgin America, Virgin Australia, and USAirways) on a request basis.”

This should be good news for the T-3 airlines, who would have been in for a tight squeeze if US Airways had used three gates. Before US Airways gave up the two gates, there was talk that some T-3 airlines would need to use shuttle buses to reach remote gates.

Once the two airlines complete their integration, it’s not clear what the combined American Airlines will be able to do do with a single gate in Terminal 3. American runs its LAX operation from Terminal 4, which is not connected to Terminal 3.

H/T @e_russell 

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US Airways and American Airlines will give up 2 gates at LAX after merger

American and US Airways reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

American and US Airways reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

We learned Tuesday that US Airways and American Airlines have settled their antitrust lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice and several state attorneys general.

The deal, as expected, requires the combined carrier to divest itself of assets in some major business markets — mostly New York and Washington, but also other places, like Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles. Many experts believe American and US Airways did pretty well in the deal, and I agree. The new American should be at least as strong as competitors Delta and United. The biggest divestiture comes in the form of slots — or takeoff and landing rights — with the new airline losing 34 slots at New York La Guardia and 104 at Washington Reagan.

My job is to focus on West Coast aviation. So let’s take a look at the nuts and bolts of what the DOJ Settlement means for LAX.

Continue reading

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US Airways will not switch LAX terminals until at least February 2014

US Airways will not switch LAX terminals until at least February 2014.

US Airways will not switch LAX terminals until at least February 2014.

US Airways, which was slated to switch terminals next month at Los Angeles International Airport, will not move until at least February 2014, an airport official told me this week.

US Airways will go from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 to allow Southwest Airlines to spend $400 million on a Terminal 1 renovation project. Eventually, if US Airways is permitted to merge with American, it could move into American’s Terminal 4.

It turns out that playing musical terminals is not easy. No major airline will be moving out of Terminal 3, so with US Airways in there, it will be a tight squeeze. (Virgin Australia is moving out of Terminal 3 for the Tom Bradley International Terminal, but it is a relatively minor player.)

Virgin America is currently the top tenant at Terminal 3. Here’s how Virgin America could be impacted, according to airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles.

Virgin America currently has 6 preferential-use gates to schedule its flights at T-3.  Virgin Australia’s consolidation of its departures and arrivals at TBIT improves gate availability at T-3.  However, daily operating fluctuations may impact gate availability and airlines may be assigned to remote gates on an equitable basis whenever there are more planes on the ground than available gates.

“Remote Gates” sounds like a relatively innocuous term. But fliers hate them. They’re usually gates far away from the main terminal, and they require passengers to board a bus to reach them.

UPDATE 2:15: A Virgin America spokesman just emailed:

 “We have been working in close coordination with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) on this issue and we are confident that the interim solution reached with LAWA will result in minimal disruption — if any — for Virgin America guests and our operations at LAX.”

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