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Branson: Virgin America to Expand 'Quite Dramatically'

Virgin America Airlines plans to ramp up its services this year despite the economic hardship the airline industry has been facing, Richard Branson, the high-profile CEO of Virgin Group, told CNBC Tuesday.

Richard Branson
Tina Fineberg
Richard Branson

"I think it's sometimes easier to expand in times of recession, so by expanding right now we're able to get planes at a much better price than people would have done three or four years ago," Branson said. "Expanding while everybody else is contracting is actually quite...astute. And that's why we are really going to try and step up our expansion quite dramatically over the next year."

Virgin America currently flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The airline will start flights to Orlando in the fall.

The company announced Toronto as a new destination Tuesday and said its will soon add a destination in Mexico.