Virgin America to launch new route from Washington-National in mid-August

Washington DC
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Virgin America has revealed 14 August is the launch date for a new non-stop route between Washington National Airport and San Francisco.

The low-cost carrier submitted a proposed flight schedule to the Department of Transportation on 23 May. The filing lists a 08:00 departure from San Francisco and a 17:00 return flight from Washington, with a 55min turn-around period at the latter airport.

The San Francisco-Washington National route is among four new non-stop slot-pairs granted by the DOT on 14 May, using eight new exemptions from a 2,012km (1,250mi) perimeter rule.

Congress approved the new exemptions as part of a long-delayed authorisation bill for the Federal Aviation Administration, which was finally signed into law on 14 February.

Virgin Atlantic's new service is intended to complement the carrier's five-year old route between San Francisco and Washington-Dulles.

Virgin Atlantic plans to deploy an Airbus A319 with upgraded CFM56 engines between San Francisco and Washington-National. The first sharklet-equipped A319s delivered to Virgin Atlantic by Airbus also will be assigned to the route.