Virgin America Releases 2008 Fourth Quarter Financial Results

New Domestic Airline Reports Growing Revenue, Ends Quarter with $68 Million Cash and Record Load Factors

San Francisco – March 11, 2009 – Virgin America, the new California-based domestic airline, today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2008. Despite fuel costs and a challenging economic climate in 2008, the new airline reported strong and steadily growing unit revenue, significant cash on-hand, and strong load factors in the latter part of 2008. The airline ended the quarter with $68 million in cash.

“These results have exceeded our expectations, and show steady quarter-over-quarter growth in unit revenue and margin improvement since our launch in August 2007,” said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. “We reported record load factors in the fourth quarter, and in some cases, double-digit load leads over our competitors on a route-by-route basis. We’re confident in our business model and our strong position as a well-financed start-up with an award-winning service the public has embraced.”

Fourth Quarter Reporting Highlights:

  • Operating results: The airline reported a $27 million operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2008, on revenues of $110 million.
  • Strong load factors: The airline reported an overall 81.2 percent load factor in the fourth quarter of 2008, and double-digit load factor leads against major competitors on a same route basis.
  • Significant top line progress: Unit revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008 was up 87 percent versus the fourth quarter of 2007, and up 5.3 per cent versus the third quarter. Previously, the airline reported that quarter-over-quarter unit revenue improved by 28 percent in the first quarter of 2008, 26 percent in the second quarter and 10 percent in the third quarter.
  • Cash: The airline ended the fourth quarter with $68 million in unrestricted cash.




Revenue (000)



Operating Expenses (000)



Operating Income/Loss (000)



ASMs (000)



Load Factor



Operating Margin %



Total RASM



Operating CASM



“Our award-winning service, strong cash balance, streamlined cost structure and impressive revenue performance is the right recipe at a time when consumers are more discerning than ever,” added Cush. “We’re in this for the long haul and are fully funded through our projected profitability date – a strong indication of confidence in our business model,” added Cush.

Cush was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin America in Dec. 2007. Although a privately held company, the airline is announcing these earnings results in advance of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) quarterly reports.

Virgin America is one of the fastest growing U.S. carriers of all time, with a new 28-aircraft Airbus A320-family fleet and daily flights from: SFO to LAX, SFO to JFK, SFO to SAN, SFO to IAD, SFO to LAS, LAX to JFK, LAX to IAD, SFO to SEA, SEA to LAX, JFK to LAS, BOS to LAX, BOS to SFO and starting April 30 – SFO to SNA.

# # #

Media Contact: Abby Lunardini (650) 533-7576 /

About Virgin America: Launched in August 2007, Virgin America is a California-based airline headquartered in San Francisco that offers guests attractive fares and innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. Virgin America’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport’s modern and convenient International Terminal. In its first year flying, the airline captured a list of travel industry awards including “Best Domestic Airline” in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards and in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards. The airline’s Red™ touch-screen personal entertainment systems features food menus, 25 on-demand films, seat-to-seat chat, thousands of MP3s, videogames, live TV and more. Already equipped on 13 aircraft, Virgin America will be the first U.S. carrier to offer in-flight internet service fleetwide by the second quarter of 2009. To learn more: