Virgin America Adds DFW to LAX, SFO Flights

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    It's official. Virgin America Airlines is headed for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

    The San Francisco-based carrier announced Tuesday that beginning in December they will offer nonstop flights to North Texas from airports in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Los Angeles service from DFW, with two daily flights, will begin Dec. 1. San Francisco service, also with two flights daily, starts Dec. 6.

    To kick off the new routes, the airline also launched a “Texas Sized” three-day fare sale for travel across Virgin America’s network.

    To take part in the fare sale, tickets must be purchased by Aug. 12 and fares range from $44 for short hauls, of which there are none in Texas, to $129 for spot in the main cabin on a flight from DFW to SFO or LAX.   That's one way, not round trip.

    Virgin is calling the fare sale "Virgin America Does Dallas."  Somewhere, Bambi Woods (Debbie) groans at the joke.

    “Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the largest metropolitan areas in North America and a major center of business with strong ties to California — most notably in the financial services, energy and the Silicon Prairie-Silicon Valley high-tech sectors,” said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. “We think our service will be a breath of fresh air for Dallas-Fort Worth travelers. Before today, travelers along these routes had very little choice and we think a little healthy competition is always a good thing — especially for consumers.”

    In the past, Cush has also mentioned Austin as a possible location for service.  If that ever happens, those $44 short haul fares look very, very appealing.

    “Virgin America at DFW Airport clearly represents an outstanding new travel option for our city and our region,” said Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. “We welcome Virgin America and its innovative approach to airline service and look forward to a long and productive partnership.”

    “Our region’s incredible growth over the past decade makes Fort Worth and all of North Texas a very strong target for expansion for Virgin America,” said Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief. “Our diverse communities, exciting attractions and strong business environment make an outstanding and rich marketplace for Virgin America to do business. We are proud to welcome Virgin America as a new member of our North Texas family.”

    Two weeks ago, the airline announced it plans to order 40 new Airbus A320s. That would more than double the size of Virgin America's fleet, so it is poised for expansion. The new planes will be delivered from 2013-2016.

    Virgin America launched in 2007 and said it hoped to be in the 30 top travel destinations in the United States within five years.  The airline, while created by Sir Richard Branson, is a separate entity from Virgin Atlantic airlines. The airline caters largely to business travelers looking for more upscale service, high-tech entertainment on board and low fares.

    Virgin America is chaired by Donald J. Carty, the former CEO of Fort Worth-based American Airlines, and will become the 11th domestic carrier at DFW Airport.