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April 25, 2014

American says DOJ gave it a list of only one airline to divest its Love Field gates

It appears the U.S. Department of Justice thinks Virgin America should be the winner of American Airlines' Love Field gates.

In a statement sent out on Friday, American said the Justice Department gave the carrier a list of possible suitors to divest its gates and that list had only one name on it: Virgin America.

"The DOJ approved one airline to acquire the gates at Love Field, and we are working on a sub-lease agreement with Virgin America. We are very respectful of the rights the City of Dallas has in this process," the company said.

Per its settlement agreement to get DOJ approval of its merger with US Airways, American is required to divest take-off and landing slots and gates at several airports.

But with its lease agreement, the city of Dallas, who operates Love Field, has to approve any lease transfer or sublease deal.

The city plans to hold a committee meeting on Monday at 1 p.m. to be briefed on the Love Field gates and has said that no decision has been made on the gates.

Southwest Airlines, which has expressed interest in obtaining the two gates, said it plans to discuss its position with the Dallas City Council.

"We appreciate the opportunity afforded by the City Council to show how the Southwest plan is best for Customers, Employees, local businesses, and the City of Dallas as a whole.  We look forward to offering a flight schedule this October that our Dallas Customers have long deserved," the Dallas-based carrier said on Friday.

-Andrea Ahles

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