Virgin America's landing of slots at LaGuardia means it will have to get away from its traditional long-haul focus, and will have to compete with multiple carriers on shorter routes.
Federal regulators said Southwest had acquired the rights to 12 new takeoff and landing slots at LaGuardia Airport (as well as full control of 10 slots it had leased from American), while Virgin America will also take over 12 slots to enable its first-ever service at the airport.
But Virgin America won’t be able to fly from LaGuardia to its West Coast hubs because of the airport’s length restrictions, so the airline will be forced to adopt an opportunistic focus on the best revenue opportunities—and that likely means new routes to Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta, a city that Virgin America Chief Executive Officer Dave Cush has conceded the airline will need to eventually tackle.
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