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Virgin America Throttling Down on Fleet Growth: CEO

Friday, 16 Nov 2012 | 12:32 PM ET
Photo: Darren Booth for CNBC

Virgin America is taking fewer deliveries of new planes as the economy continues to grow slowly and fuel prices remain high, CEO David Cush told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday.

"We have 50 aircraft now and so we feel comfortable slowing down the growth," Cush said. "But I would say the key thing we've seen in the two years since we initially made this order is the increase in fuel prices and basically what is a slowly growing economy. When you do the math, it doesn't make sense to go in and continue the rapid expansion."

Since Virgin America is a young airline, it also doesn't need to replace an aging fleet of planes with new, more fuel-efficient jets.

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The young air carrier also isn't shying away from popular routes. Unlike a JetBlue or a Spirit Airlines, Virgin America serves the most competitive routes.

"You go where the money is," Cush said. "There's a reason these routes are so competitive and that there's so much capacity. It's because they're high yielding routes and they're where the business travelers are."

He added, "Our view has always been if we put the best product out there at competitive price, it will do fine and in all honesty, once we've been in the market a couple year, that we outpace our rivals."

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