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Place Your Bets For Virgin America's Next Destination

March 12, 2010 at 10:51 AM | by | ()

UPDATE 8:00am, March 18, 2010: Virgin America has just announced that they've picked their next two destinations, and they are Toronto and Orlando!

Do you know what time of the year it is? It's time for airlines to announce their new summer routes! And because LCC Virgin America is still so new to the game, and also partly because we are dying to have more destinations served by their planes boasting in-flight wifi and flight attendants with their own reality show, all eyes are on them right now for possible news.

So where will Virgin America be flying to next? Since we've been 100% successful with our past guesses at their new routes—we called their Seattle, Boston and Fort Lauderdale routes first—we think it's about time to start placing our bets on the next city to get the sexy Virgin treatment.

See the candidates and their odds, after the jump!

· Vancouver
90% chance. Sure, the Olympics are over, but that doesn't mean that Vancouver will completely vacate and become a quiet town. The city is jumping with entrepreneurs, tech, film industry and culture—all which fits into VX's core demographic. An LAX-YVR direct would be a no-brainer. Additionally, Virgin head honcho Richard Branson and top brass were just there around the Olympics; don't tell me they weren't sizing up the airport as well. That said, YVR is expensive to land at, but if they're looking at Chicago's gates, then they must have some money to throw around in regards to new destinations. Our 10% of "maybe not" comes because we think that if Vancouver is their new route, that they would have liked to make a big deal during the Olympics, but they didn't.

· Chicago
70% chance. Virgin America's CEO David Cush might call us more than our own mother does, and every time we get him on the line, we ask him, "so what's up with Chicago?" And each time, since mid-2008, he's been telling us that Chicago is definitely on the list, but there's no gates for them. This is the largest problem, actually getting somewhere to park the planes once they land at O'Hare. However, Cush recently told us that the Delta merger with Northwest freed up some gates, and if Delta can be reasonable about the price, then Virgin America is buying. They would even put some of their newest aircraft on the Chicago routes, if they could get them.

Where will VX's Fly Girls be flying to next?

· Toronto
60% chance. Look, Virgin America hinted to us and to Bloomberg only several months ago that Canada was a huge possibility if Chicago is still being stubborn. Even last August, they were all about either Toronto or Vancouver. A San Francisco-Toronto route would make sense, but those cities aren't exactly ideal for a summer route announcement. Toronto could happen, but Vancouver has the upper hand here.

· Austin
40% chance. We're not saying that Austin will never happen, because VX totally wants to fly there, as Cush told us. Specifically, it'd be San Francisco to Austin or Los Angeles to Dallas, and since the SXSW festival is already this weekend and Southwest would have a conniption if VX started into Dallas, we doubt either will be happening this year.

· Atlanta
15% chance. Hey, Atlanta's cool and all, and getting cooler by the minute, but it's just not a destination we see Virgin America getting excited over. It'd be great for connections, sure, but eh. Plus, AirTran has cornered Hartsfield-Jackson Airport's market for LCC flights with Wifi, since all AirTran planes have in-flight WiFi, and they do nice things like fly direct from Atlanta to NYC.

· Cabo San Lucas
10% chance. VX was all about dropping Cabo as a possible future destination like two years ago, when they were all about upping their hipness quotient. Since then, we haven't heard much about Mexico routes, and the Swine Flu scare couldn't have helped. And if they were to throw Cabo into the mix, they would have had the route ready for this year's spring break, which is already happening for some schools.

Where do you think Virgin America will be flying next? Would you rather have Toronto or Vancouver for a Canadian city?

Related Stories:
· What to Expect from Virgin America in 2010 :: We Chat with CEO David Cush [Jaunted]
· Rumors Continue Over Virgin America's Possible Canadian Routes [Jaunted]
· Jaunted Interview: Chatting with Virgin America CEO David Cush [Jaunted]
· Virgin America news [Jaunted]

[Plane photo: Virgin America; Miami beach photo: matt.hintsa, "at YVR" photo : nep; master photoshop work: Jaunted; Fly Girls photo: Jaunted]

Archived Comments:

I hope you're right!

Oh, how I hope you're right! Vancouver would be awesome!! That's my number one hope right now. However, I think it's more likely it will be Chicago. I would be happy if Vancouver was going to be their 2nd new destination this year. I think one of the Texas cities is still more likely than Vancouver. My percentages look like: Chicago: 70% Austin or Dallas: 15% Atlanta: 10% Vancouver: 5% Notice that they add up to 100%. :-)

oh, us too

Oh yea we've been hoping for Chicago too! Interesting that you put Vancouver at the back--can't wait to hear what city wins! Yea, didn't want to have them add up to 100% because then Cabo would have like a 0.5% chance, and that's so sad.

next stop for virgin

They'll be in Dallas next


I think Vancouver would be so easy for them, especially since they are already flying to Seattle. Plus, Vancouver is often called Hollywood North and that fits into the VA image perfectly.


Yes, our tip line here at Jaunted is lighting up and saying "It is Austin" -- and since the tips originate in FLL, that would make sense. (I am on a JetBlue flight from FLL to Austin Sunday -- see the connection? However, the real reason I am going out on a limb with this Austin guess (when all signs point to Vancouver) is that SXSW is this coming week, and we all know if it was Austin Branson would have more than likely made a big spectacle at the Olympics -- so I am guessing he will make his grand PR move in Austin during South By.