Planned US start-up Virgin America has requested regulatory authority to begin accepting customer payments and issuing tickets, saying it is fully prepared to commence operations before the summer travel season ends.

In May Virgin America received final DOT certification, which is to become effective when all of the regulator’s conditions are met. Virgin America says in a new filing to the DOT that it is updating its financials “to demonstrate compliance with the department’s financial fitness test” and has filed its certificate of insurance.

Additionally, the new entrant – which completed the FAA’s formal safety evaluation in December 2006 – completed additional validation tests on June 27. As a result, the FAA is “prepared to issue the airline its Part 121 operating certificate to Virgin America”, says the airline.

San Francisco-based Virgin America notes that it is fully-staffed for its initial operations, has taken delivery of ten Airbus narrowbodies, has made the necessary arrangements for facilities and gates, has prepared its marketing materials and related advertising and is prepared to begin accepting reservations and issuing tickets.

The carrier asks that the DOT take action on its request to issue tickets by July 10. Without this waiver, says Virgin America, the carrier will “needlessly suffer additional financial hardship as its operation ‘gears up’ after the passage of more time”.