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 cultureall 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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
· 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]