photo by Drewski2112Even after a wave of airline bankruptcies has recently shaken the US airline industry, Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson said on Thursday that he is "extremely pleased" with the airline's performance and that it is "well ahead of budget". He was also predicted that "in three or four years time, it'll be flying to all the major American cities."
In addition, the Wall Street Journal reported today that British and American investors in the airline are planning to infuse approximately $100 million of new capital as the airline plans to expand. The money will certainly help Virgin America stay afloat amid high oil prices and a weak economy.
CEO David Cush has said that Virgin America is on track to become profitable by 2010, although the airline is currently losing money. He also said that the airline might be able to take advantage of some of the recent turmoil in the industry, which has caused other airlines to scale back service and reduce capacity in some markets, to gain a foothold in markets where it doesn't currently operate.
In January, Virgin America was able to sell 65% of its seats - significantly lower than the 80% industry standard. Cush has recently said that this figure has improved to just over 70% - still below average. Branson, however, stated that the low figure is not surprising, given that the airline started operations eight months ago.