O’Hare Deal Looks Good for Virgin America and JetBlue

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Deal may let Virgin America, other airlines land at O’Hare

Upstart carrier sees opening to challenge United, American

The city of Chicago has struck a deal that could open O’Hare International Airport to Virgin America and other new entrants, providing fresh competition to United and American airlines.

After lengthy negotiations, Delta Air Lines Inc. is poised to hand the city control of the L Concourse in O’Hare’s Terminal 3, including five gates that the city could rent to Virgin America, JetBlue Airways or even European charter tour companies seeking a toehold at O’Hare.

The deal also represents a potential breakthrough for Virgin America, which has sought for nearly three years to enter O’Hare as part of a plan to more than triple in size from 34 jets to 111 aircraft by 2019.

“We do still hope to bring our low-fare service to O’Hare in 2011, and we’re continuing to work with the city toward that goal,” said Abby Lunardini, a Virgin America spokeswoman…… continued

Read more here, ChicagoTribune.com