After losing an appeal to keep operating data confidential, startup Virgin America has revealed it lost $175.4 million for the first three quarters of 2008
The US Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) will publish the carrier's "Form 41" data on 3 February, but in the meantime, the San Francisco company has unveiled its operating revenues were $259.6 million for the first three quarters last year.
Load factors were 77.6% in the second quarter of 2008 and 81.4% in the third quarter of that year.
Launched in August 2007, Virgin America nearly doubled capacity in a year but sought to keep financial and origin and destination data secret
"These results are consistent with our expectations-with steady quarter over quarter growth in unit revenue since launch," Virgin America president and CEO David Cush says in a statement. This is an industry with very high start-up costs and where large first year losses are common. We're confident in our business model and are in a strong position as a well-financed start-up with solid revenue growth and load factors, a modern, fuel efficient fleet, a maturing route network, and award-winning service the public has embraced."
Virgin America appealed a June BTS decision to publish its calendar year 2007 operating data, arguing that competitors would gain valuable information about its costs and expenses.
American Airlines and JetBlue Airways objected to Virgin America's claims, with the low-cost carrier noting BTS has denied other requests for secrecy.
BTS will also publish Form 41 data for Republic Airlines and Shuttle America on 3 February despite objections from the regionals.
Previously, the bureau published ExpressJet traffic data despite objections from the Houston-based regional that publishing information about its emerging branded operations would be harmful to the company. ExpressJet ended its branded flying in September 2008.