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Branson may be a thorn in Southwest’s side, but he’s a charming one.
After running into headwinds from Dallas politicians and Southwest Airlines, Virgin America’s Richard Branson is embarking on a charm offensive to take two gates at Dallas’ Love Field — literally.
In a video posted to YouTube, the golden-haired poster boy for the Virgin brand puts pen to paper, as well as smooth saxophone to a backing track, to lay out his desire to take firm hold of the two gates American Airlines has been forced to disposed of at Dallas’ smaller airport.
In preparation for taking over the gates, Virgin has already cut service in Philadelphia. Virgin picked up landing and departure rights at Washington-Regan National and New York-LaGuardia.
Although the Department of Justice gave American Air a directive to divest of the gates, Southwest and Dallas’ city council have pushed for the Texas-based carrier to take on the additional gates. Southwest already controls 16 of the 20 gates at Love Field. Delta controls the other two.
American Air CEO Doug Parker last week told a crowd at the University of Texas that the DOJ informed American that Virgin America was the only possible recipient of the gates.
Branson himself may turn out to be the most persuasive voice. The full text of the letter is below, and the video follows.
My dearest Love,
From the moment I knew I had a shot at you you were all I could think of. Others would keep you all to themselves. I would invite competition for your affections. Nay, I demand it.
After all, no one should have a monopoly on your love.
My virile, young planes are yearning for your runways. You make my heart soar to the highest heights and my fares drop to the lowest lows.
You have the window seat to my heart, kitten.
It’s time to let our love take flight, no matter how hard they try to keep us apart.
Your sweetheart, Richie.