Virgin America will not launch service to additional cities in 2013: Virgin's Cush

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Virgin America does not expect to begin service to any new cities in 2013 after June, when the airline begins service to Anchorage in Alaska.

Virgin America chief executive David Cush tells Flightglobal that the airline will instead focus on letting existing markets mature before further expansion.

In the last few months, Virgin America launched service to Newark, New Jersey from San Francisco and Los Angeles, and to San Jose, California from Los Angeles.

It will begin service to Austin from San Francisco next week and seasonal flights to Anchorage from San Francisco on 6 June.

The Burlingame, California-based airline, which has taken delivery of one Airbus aircraft this year, also does not expect to further expand its fleet until 2015, when it will receive aircraft on order from Airbus, Cush adds.

Virgin America, which has a fleet of 53 aircraft, took delivery of 25 new aircraft between the second quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2012, doubling its fleet size.

As a result, available seat miles climbed 29% in 2011 and 27% in 2012, compared to the previous years.

Cush says he expects capacity to increase in the "low single digits" in 2013.

He expects the airline's curtailed growth will result in its first full year of profits in 2013.

"The projections for the remainder of the year are to have a very healthy operating profit," he tells Flightglobal.