Virgin America’s goal is to capture 10-15% of the market at the airports it serves, a share Cush says will allow the carrier to “thrive.” The exception to this could be LAX, which is too large and fragmented to allow Virgin America to realize that growth. “There is no dominant carrier at LAX,” he says. “But 4-5% at LAX pays a lot of bills.”
Virgin America will be adding one more Airbus A320 to its fleet of 52 aircraft in March 2013, with one more Airbus narrowbody set to follow next July. Starting in the second half of 2013, the airline will take delivery of 10 A320s per year for the next three years, with 30 A320NEOs to begin delivery in 2016, says Cush.
The airline sacrificed profits in 2010 and 2011 to focus on growth. “We grew from 28 to 52 airlines in that time,” he says. “At 28 airplanes, you’re not relevant; at 52, we’re relevant.”