Virgin America details initial network should DOT approve its AOC

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Virgin America intends to serve six markets in the first nine months of operation if the carrier can convince the US DOT to reverse its denial of an air operator’s certificate (AOC).

The San Francisco-based airline is currently appealing a late tentative decision by the regulator that denied the start-up’s launch application over concerns that foreign investors, notably British entrepreneur Richard Branson, has undue and illegal influence on the company.

Despite this, Virgin America today said that should it appease those concerns, it will add Las Vegas and Washington DC as well as and intra-California flights to Los Angeles and San Diego to its network within nine months of its launch.

The airline has already said its first route will be a nonstop service between its base and New York JFK.

“It’s exciting to share our plans for our first destinations we plan to serve this year,” says Virgin America CEO Fred Reid in a statement. “Of course, we’re still working hard to complete our certification process. Considering the far reaching, significant changes our investors recently made to the company to address the [DOT’s] concerns, we are hopeful to complete the certification process at the earliest possible date.”

Reid today also indicated that Virgin America intends to serve up to 10 cities within its first year and as many as 30 destinations within five years.

Almost a third of these markets are in Florida, and include Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa and West Palm Beach.

Also being considered are Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cleveland; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Hartford, Connecticut; Houston; Indianapolis, Indiana; Kansas City, Missouri; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Minneapolis/St Paul; Nashville, Tennessee; New York Newark; New Orleans, Louisiana; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; Portland, Oregon; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Sacramento, California; Salt Lake City; San Antonio, Texas; San Jose, California; Seattle, St Louis, Missouri.