Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Virgin America Cutting Back on Flights

Virgin America, the low-cost U.S. airline partly owned by Britain's Virgin Group, said Tuesday it would cut flying capacity about 10% in the fourth quarter from previously estimated levels, as it deals with high oil prices.

The carrier, which began operating last summer, is the latest U.S. airline to announce plans to cut back on flights in the fourth quarter as jet fuel costs hover around all-time highs.

Most of the country's major airlines, led by AMR's American Airlines and UAL's United Airlines, have said they will cut flights drastically this fall, after the peak summer travel season ends, in a bid to keep costs under control.

Virgin, which has its biggest base in San Francisco, said it would reduce capacity on mid-week, off-peak flights beginning this fall, but will also add some flights on high-demand routes.

The effect will be a 10% capacity cut from its previously projected fourth-quarter capacity. Unlike other airlines, it said there would be no job cuts or changes to the number of planes it operates.

Virgin America, which operates 19 single-aisle Airbus A320 planes, said it will add daily flights between San Francisco and Las Vegas, and will launch daily flights between New York and Las Vegas in September. It is also waiting for government approval for flights to Chicago from San Francisco and Los Angeles.

I was watching an interview with the owner of Virgin to pointed out the mess American airlines were in so it appears it's not only limited to the U.S. owned carriers.

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