Virgin America Shows the Way to San Jose

US carrier Virgin America claims to be “reinventing domestic travel” in the country with its low-fare, upscale services from California. It will further expand its offering this year with a new four times daily link from Los Angeles International Airport to Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport from May 1, 2013. Virgin America will compete directly with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United on this route, a market of around 646,000 bi-directional O&D passengers in the past 12 months.

“San Jose International Airport is important for Silicon Valley business travelers and it deserves more flight options.”

David Crush
President and Chief Executive Officer, Virgin America

In five and a half years of flying, Virgin America has grown from three aircraft to a fleet of 52, with expansion to 19 destinations. The airline is now the second largest airline carrier at its home airport in San Francisco. In addition to the O&D demand to/from Los Angeles, the San Jose network addition will also create convenient roundtrip connectivity between the city and Virgin America’s Boston, Philadelphia, Newark, Fort Lauderdale, Dallas-Fort Worth, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando and Washington DC destinations. Virgin America says it will be the first carrier to offer a First Class cabin on all Los Angeles – San Jose flights, which will operate from the new Terminal A at Norman Y Mineta Airport.

“San Jose International Airport is important for Silicon Valley business travelers and it deserves more flight options,” said David Crush, President and Chief Executive Officer, Virgin America. “As an airline known for amenities that keep travellers connected and productive in the skies, we hope our flights can offer some healthy competition and a better choice for the Bay’s entrepreneurs and business travellers.

David Crush paid testament to the efforts of Mayor Chuck Reed, Airport Director Bill Sherry and Carl Guardino from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, who he described as “instrumental” in making this latest network expansion happen and who had the “vision and persistence” to push for increased air service options for San Jose and the South Bay region.

“We are grateful to Virgin America for bringing new air service to Silicon Valley,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. “As an innovator, Virgin America will find great support in the world’s center of innovation. Silicon Valley is leading the country in job creation, and Virgin America’s new service will support our job growth with convenient and efficient air service.”

Strong air connectivity is essential for global businesses to thrive, according to Carl Guardino, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “Our member companies told us loud and clear that increasing air service options at San Jose International Airport will directly help their businesses thrive. Our innovation-based economy here in the Valley is dependent on staying connected,” he said.

Virgin America’s principal base of operation is San Francisco International Airport (SFO), where it first launched service in August 2007. In just over five years flying, Virgin America has expanded to 19 airport destinations and created 2,600 new jobs. The airline flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs and Philadelphia, Portland. On April 2, 2013 Virgin America will inaugurate service to its 20th airport destination – Newark Liberty International Airport.

In the table below we highlight the existing capacity in the Los Angeles - San Jose market for May 2013, the first month Virgin America will serve the route.





Seat Capacity


Southwest Airlines (WN)




SkyWest Airlines for American Airlines (OO)




Horizon Air for Alaska Airlines (QX)




SkyWest Airlines for United Airlines (OO)






Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…