MIAMI — On October 6, Virgin America will discontinue flights to Philadelphia from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. The carrier is suspending the service to free up aircraft on new routes out of LaGuardia, and Washington Reagan.
Over the last few months, American and US Airways have had to give up rights to landing slots and gates at several cities across the country, and Virgin America has been able to pick a modest number at both airports. It may also son win two more at Dallas Love Field, though the jury is still out in Texas. But as the carrier is not taking any more new planes until 2015, it has to shift its existing service.
The carrier is also looking to expand in other cities. Currently, it is in the running for more gate space at Boston Logan, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles and Miami.
Unfortunately for Philadelphia, the carrier wants to focus on the new opportunities it has received. Although, Virgin America’s CEO, David Cush, told Today in the Sky that the carrier considers its to be suspension its Philadelphia service and not withdrawing, though it is not clear when the carrier will return.
Starting this summer, Virgin rival JetBlue, will discontinue several routes in and out of Washington Dulles to expand its new operations at Washington Reagan International Airport where the airline won several slot pairs.
US Airways and Virgin America are the only two carriers that offer nonstop flights between Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Within the last few years, Delta, Southwest, and United tried to fly this route, but US Airways was able to practically dominate the route. Starting October 6, US Airways will be the only carrier to fly between these two cities.
United, US Airways, and Virgin America fly between San Francisco and Philadelphia. However, United and US Airways are able to benefit from connecting passengers to two major intercontinental hubs as well as a frequent flyer loyalty. Starting October 6, United and US Airways will be the only two carriers on this route.