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Virgin America to remove service

Carrier will cease operating at John Wayne Airport on May 26 so it can focus on Florida flights.

March 19, 2010|By Brianna Bailey

Virgin America announced Thursday that it is pulling out of John Wayne Airport.

The news comes less than a year after the airline made a highly promoted Orange County debut that included a visit from British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, the airline’s majority owner.

Virgin America will end service from JWA to San Francisco International Airport, its only destination from JWA, on May 26, according to a press release.

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The move allows the airline to shuffle its fleet and begin service from Orlando International Airport with daily nonstop flights from both Los Angeles International Airport and SFO in August.

Virgin America also plans to serve Toronto Pearson International Airport with daily flights from both LAX and SFO as early as June.

“Despite our relatively strong performance at [JWA], given our new fleet plan and network prospects, we’ve made the decision to focus on the immediate long-haul opportunities that the Orlando and Toronto markets provide,” Virgin America President and Chief Executive David Cush said in a written statement.

Virgin announced five daily flights out of Orange County in April 2009.

JWA has a long list of airlines that want to locate at the airport and will not be affected by the departure, according to online news reports.


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