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Virgin continues the march east

rigger

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Looking for a Station manager in FLL if someones looking

Virgin America Studies Atlanta, Dallas for New Routes (Update2)
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By Mary Jane Credeur


Aug. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Virgin America Inc., the low-fare airline partly owned by U.K. billionaire Richard Branson, is studying whether to fly to Atlanta, Dallas and Austin, Texas, as it adds Florida routes, Chief Executive Officer David Cush said.
“Atlanta is certainly on the list. It’s a big corporate headquarters city,” Cush, 49, said in a telephone interview. “We have analyzed Dallas and Austin, places with big corporate and technology bases that certainly would have some synergies with San Francisco and Los Angeles.”
Serving Atlanta and Dallas would put Virgin America into the hometown airports of Delta Air Lines Inc., the world’s biggest carrier, and No. 2 American Airlines. Chicago, where rivals have so far refused to cede gates, remains at the top of Virgin America’s expansion choices, Cush said.
“Virgin would be going into the heart of these big hubs, and neither competitor would back off,” said Michael Derchin, an analyst at FTN Equity Capital Markets Corp. in New York. “They’ll be met with some fierce resistance. If they could make those flights break even, they could probably make it work.”
Virgin America, which began flying in August 2007, unveiled Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as its 10th U.S. market today. Flights start Nov. 18 from San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Burlingame, California-based airline said in a statement.
Corporate Headquarters
The cities Cush suggested as possible destinations include the homes of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co., the world’s largest soft-drink maker, and Dallas-based AT&T Inc., the biggest U.S. phone company. Dell Inc., the world’s second-largest maker of personal computers, is based in the Austin suburb of Round Rock.
Toronto and Vancouver also are being studied as possible additions to the airline’s system, said Cush, a former executive at AMR Corp.’s American, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas.
Virgin America, whose fleet consists of Airbus SAS A320s and A319s, may be interested in the 40 Airbus jets owned by Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. should the Denver-based carrier be bought by Southwest Airlines Co. and sell the planes, Cush said.
Most of Frontier’s jets are 5 years old or younger, according to Ascend Online Fleets data. Their Honeywell International Inc. electronics and engines by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric Co. and Safran SA of France, would mesh with the equipment on Virgin America jets, Cush said.
‘Right Economics’
“Those are recent-vintage aircraft, and under the right economics, we would be interested,” Cush said. “In taking used aircraft, you’d look at the commonality. They have similar avionics and engines. We’d be interested in looking at that.”
Talks continue with potential new U.S. investors, and Virgin America may add one or more by the end of the year, Cush said. The airline has been in “constant consultation” with the U.S. Department of Transportation about the matter, he said.
Cush said there have been no changes to Virgin America’s investor base and board. The Wall Street Journal reported in March that majority shareholders Cyrus Capital Partners LP and Black Canyon Capital LLC sold stakes to Branson’s Virgin Group Ltd., the London-based parent of Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.
Broader U.S. ownership may deflect claims by Alaska Air Group Inc. that Virgin America is violating federal laws limiting foreign ownership of domestic carriers to no more than 25 percent of voting stock.
“The DOT is satisfied with what we are telling them,” Cush said. “I’m hopeful that in the near future we’ll have resolution to it.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Mary Jane Credeur in Atlanta at mcredeur@bloomberg.net.
Last Updated: August 11, 2009 13:30 EDT
 

johnsonrod

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Not surprising that VA would be interested in Frontier's A320s/A319s (not sure about the A318s). Having flown on VA as a pax, I thoroughly believe it has the best economy-class service out there (yes, better than JB's). That said, I do have a few questions regarding this expansion though:

1. Is there much capacity to expand out of ATL and DFW for new entrants? How many flights could VA potentially add out of ATL with no current gates?


2. We have all heard that VA has had big cash flow issues (like most airlines in this down economy). Where is VA getting the cash to support this expansion?
 
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OurMoney1

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Branson is a crook. He's in violation of foreign ownership clauses and needs to be shut down.

You break the law you should be held accountable.
 

rigger

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branson is a crook. He's in violation of foreign ownership clauses and needs to be shut down.

You break the law you should be held accountable.



please tell this to all our congressmen and senators!!!!!!!!!
 

mvedepo

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Well if you guys are so smart why are you flying airplanes and posting on FI? Its incredible. If you could would you please post the details to the Virgin America ownership structure?

I appreciate you sharing your wealth of knowledge with all of us!

Thanks!
 

Ralph Cramden

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Branson is a crook. He's in violation of foreign ownership clauses and needs to be shut down.

You break the law you should be held accountable.

"Like, that's just your opinion man." The Dude Lebowski

A lot of lawyers at the DOT disagree with you, and their opinion counts.

News flash, your opinion doesn't matter...
 

mvedepo

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Wow....look what I found!!


August 11, 2009: 11:06 AM ET


CHICAGO -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Department of Transportation has assured Virgin America that the airline's ownership structure is compliant with U.S. law, David Cush, chief executive of the San Francisco Bay area carrier, said in an interview Tuesday.

The airline is 25%-owned by founder Richard Branson, head of Virgin Group in the U.K. Under U.S. law, 75% of voting stock must be held by U.S. citizens. Competitor Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK) has called Virgin America's ownership into question and asked the DOT to investigate, believing that two U.S. private equity groups were selling their stakes in Virgin America.

Cush said Tuesday, "We've still got the same ownership," adding that, in private talks with Virgin America, the DOT has said that "it is comfortable with our situation."

The agency hasn't commented publicly on the matter, although Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., last month asked the DOT to do so. The U.S. investors also haven't commented.

Regarding day-to-day business, Cush said passenger bookings are looking stronger in August and September, mainly due to leisure travel fueled by industry fare sales.

The airline industry continues to face a triple threat from weak passenger revenue, rising fuel costs and tight capital markets.

"The industry fundamentals are the worst I've seen in my 20 years in the industry," Cush said. He added that the intra-California market has been clobbered by the U.S. recession, while traffic on routes to and from California is gradually improving.

The airline Tuesday said it would expand direct service to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from San Francisco and Los Angeles. The carrier has adequate liquidity, and access to capital, to continue a long-term expansion plan, Cush said, expecting to add two or three new routes in 2010 and a similar number in 2011.

"A long-term growth plan will bring economies of scale on the cost side and add revenue with a stronger route network," Cush said.

So far, the airline, which started operations in 2007, has reported heavy financial losses.

Virgin America plans to increase its fleet to about 50 aircraft from 28 in the next two years, Cush said. While financing new aircraft has been difficult, Cush said he expects to get assistance from the manufacturer when the aircraft are ordered. Virgin America operates a fleet of A320 aircraft made by Airbus.

Cush said competitors are keeping an eye on the bid from Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV), the largest domestic passenger carrier in the U.S., to buy Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. (FRNTQ). "There are a number of implications for us," he said. "The fact that they plan to move more capacity into Denver [Frontier's home base], that could take some pressure off the California market.
 

a320drivr

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All I know is that my company wants to compare your payrates to ours when it comes to raises. Thanks so much.
 

mvedepo

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All I know is that my company wants to compare your payrates to ours when it comes to raises. Thanks so much.

What were your payrates during your 1st 2 years of service?
 

Bavarian Chef

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JB is beating them to the punch in FLL.

Ha. Now that's funny.
 

mvedepo

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JB is beating them to the punch in FLL.

Ha. Now that's funny.


Do you really think 1 day matters? Fact of the matter is that VA offers MUCH more for the pax than JB. Its a battle you can't win.
 
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Ralph Cramden

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All I know is that my company wants to compare your payrates to ours when it comes to raises. Thanks so much.

Er, your welcome. I forgot to ask you if it was OK to seek a new job when my old ALPA represented carrier went out of business. Gee, I'm so sorry for this oversight. :rolleyes:

Of course they will use any argument they can. It's your job to compare yourself to WN, FedEx and UPS. Feel better now?
 

BeachBummer

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Do you really think 1 day matters? Fact of the matter is that VA offers MUCH more for the pax than JB. Its a battle you can't win.
Depends on who blinks first in the bleed out war.
 

Bavarian Chef

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Do you really think 1 day matters? Fact of the matter is that VA offers MUCH more for the pax than JB. Its a battle you can't win.

Dude, all I know after almost 4 years at JB is that guys like you, that work at JB, have been tooting on Neeleman/Barger's horn long after they realized that they were accomplices in allowing the pay and benefits bar to be set so low. How's that for fooked up?

You seem, at least on this website, to suffer the same malady. Please, blow Cush's horn all you want (innuendo for free my friend) and at the end of the DECADE, see if you haven't gotten as far as my illustrious forbears at JB have. We have proven, without a doubt, how to undercut our own profession. Only recently have we made progress, but not after the
industry-wide damage has been done (an example, they actually use United's concessionary pay rates in helping us formulate what industry average is ...)

Maybe your cadre at VA won't go down the same path, but I am not betting against your ability to hang on to the crumbs.

As for my post, read it again, and try to figure out how many meanings I could have meant.

I thought it was funny because:

1) JB thinks VA is a threat?
2) Now your gay FAs can live with our gay FAs in FLL?
3) Two lushes duking it out on the national stage?
4) Is this what constitutes airline news?

Look sport, I like my job, and believe it or not I like my company, but unlike you I see what my employer looks like after Last Call. You would be wise to look at your employer the same way and stop being so defensive. Oh, and stop acting like this is your first rodeo. Blindly defending your airline?

Bush league.


One more thing, you're right ... we have nothing to offer.

http://www.jetblue.com/about/ourcompany/history/about_ourhistory.html
 
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mvedepo

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Dont bother mvedpo defends VA like a hot sister that the whole team wants a piece of..

Got metal spars in that older `160hp Decathalon?


  1. Decathalon? I am guessing you meant DECATHLON.
  2. Older? Maybe. Its a 1976. However, was totally redone in 1994.
  3. I don't have metal spars in it. Neither does my Pitts. Wood is MUCH better.
  4. And how did you know I am running the 160 STC? Stock AEIO-320 is 150 hp.
  5. Tell me about your airplanes.
 

mvedepo

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Bavarian,

You and I have had it out before over your disdain for Virgin America. I HIGHLY doubt your post was a jovial one. Don't get defending the place were I work on FI confused with drowning in the Kool Aid. That's not true at all.
Do I agree with everything my management does? No.
Do I think everything is perfect here? Absolutely not.
Do I think that its a great company to work for? Yes I do.

I have friends everywhere, even many at JB, and don't wish ANYONE out of a job or misfortune. I definately don't feel the need to run over to other airlines threads and throw crap at them. If that's what makes you happy then I am sorry you are so miserable in life. I am in no way a sour person. I come to work to have fun and thats what I do. I work with a bunch of great people and have been fortunate to have experienced that everywhere I have been.
 
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Bavarian Chef

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Bavarian,

You and I have had it out before over your disdain for Virgin America. I HIGHLY doubt your post was a jovial one. Don't get defending the place were I work on FI confused with drowning in the Kool Aid. That's not true at all.
Do I agree with everything my management does? No.
Do I think everything is perfect here? Absolutely not.
Do I think that its a great company to work for? Yes I do.

I have friends everywhere, even many at JB, and don't wish ANYONE out of a job or misfortune. I definately don't feel the need to run over to other airlines threads and throw crap at them. If that's what makes you happy then I am sorry you are so miserable in life. I am in no way a sour person. I come to work to have fun and thats what I do. I work with a bunch of great people and have been fortunate to have experienced that everywhere I have been.

Disdain? That would imply that on some higher level -- I actually care about VA. Check out the definition there, crazy. No one LIKES Virgin America.

Takin' the high road -- straight outta the fi.com playbook. Oh, and the "I really love my job, and everyone else's job, and this whole gold darn industry, and did I mention I LOVE coming to work every day" -- yep, another one from the playbook. Not directly answering any part or quoting the post that made you type up a mission statement -- you guessed it, rule number 347 out of the book.

So, I'm Pol Pot and you're Pat Boone. Let's just agree to disagree.

Good luck with that whole pink cabin thing.
 
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