Branson's US budget airline plans to fly up to Canada
Friday 19 March 2010
Virgin America, the low-cost airline set up in the US by Sir Richard Branson, has unveiled ambitious plans for expansion after financial disappointments and wrangling over its ownership structure stymied its first two years in operation.
The company, which is based in San Francisco, will buy at least another nine Airbus A320 aircraft in the next year and has applied for permission to start flying north of the border to Canada. It is adding Orlando, Florida, as a destination immediately.
David Cush, the chief executive, said the airline had lost a year of potential growth because of its legal wrangling with the US Department of Transportation, which investigated a string of objections from rival carriers in the cutthroat budget airline market.
Virgin America was first cleared for take-off in 2007 but high fuel prices and then the recession pulled it off-course. Although the airline uses Sir Richard's Virgin brand, he has been forced to take a back seat throughout its development because US rules ban foreign-owned airlines from operating in the country.
The entrepreneur's Virgin Group, which controls the international carrier Virgin Atlantic, has a 49 per cent stake in Virgin America and only 25 per cent of the voting stock.
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...