Virgin America close to launch services in USA
Most airline companies in the United States are still struggling to get on their feet after the 911 incident. However, the market is still hot and demanding and new players are very keen to enter the US aviation market. One of these companies is Virgin Atlantic owned by business mogul Richard Branson.
If the company manages to get all the approvals necessary, it would become the first airline service in the United States to be funded by a foreign airline. However, the competition in the US market is hard and it would require some serious commitment and efforts from Virgin to make a mark here.
Bransonâ€™s Virgin Atlantic filed its application Thursday with the Department of Transportation to fly as a U.S. carrier. They have also secured around $177.3 million for its fight and initial start-up costs. A bulk of this amount has been funded by the investment group VAI Partners that would be controlling the airlines operation in this market.
Branson would be holding only a small stake in the company to comply with the US laws on foreign ownership of airline companies operating in the country. Virgin America says it will fly to San Francisco and New York and plans to gather a fleet of 17 Airbus jets within a year. They also plan to have on their payroll around 2000 workers within two years.