Southwest Airlines: Gary Kelly on Losing Love Field Gates to Virgin America

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Dallas, TX – Texas has a rich account of history-shaping battles. The latest saga — the ‘Battle for The Gates of Love Field,’ a victor has emerged. Virgin America has defeated mighty Southwest Airlines, and has claimed ownership of the coveted spots.

Things got pretty hot and heavy in the fight to win the heart of Love Field. Virgin founder Richard Branson even wrote a love letter to the airport, pouring out his heart-felt desires to unite with the airport.

Don`t feel too bad for Southwest though. The carrier already controls 16 of the 20 gates at Love Field, and just announced it had sky high profits last year. But hey, you can`t have a monopoly on love.

At a shareholders meeting, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told Virgin to bring it on.

“Southwest is the low cost low fare carrier,” Kelly said. “Wherever we compete with very few airline exceptions, they have to lower their fares to match ours, and that’s exactly the way we compete with Virgin.”

Perhaps the real winner of this war may is you – the passenger. Southwest announced it plans to add 50 new destinations in the next few years, and Virgin claims competing against Southwest, could lower prices up to 30-percent.

“You can`t have a monopoly on the airport,” Blaine Johnson of Plano said. “I do love Southwest, I do love their service, I will fly Southwest, but having Virgin here gives me another opportunity.”

Yep, fasten your seat belts folks, we`re ready for take-off.