Virgin America files plans for IPO

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Virgin America files plans for IPO
In this photo taken on Thursday, April 24, 2014, and released by Virgin America Airlines, a Virgin America aircraft is positioned into place at Dallas Love Field in Dallas. The airline said Friday, April 25, that it had won the rights to fly from Dallas to New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. They were competing for two airport slots that American Airlines agreed to relinquish as part of its merger with US Airways. The city has not formally signed off on the transfer, but is expected to vote Monday. (AP Photo/Virgin America, Bob Riha, Jr.)
One day before a "supermoon," Virgin America flight VX415 from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) crosses the waxing gibbous moon on its final approach to Los Angeles Airport as viewed from Whittier, Calif., Friday, July 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
A Virgin America jet lands in view of the Olympic mountains at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Tuesday, April 23, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
People exit a Virgin America flight after it arrives at Portland International Airport on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Portland, Ore. Virgin America launches its new service to Portland, Ore.,Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Richard Branson, chairman and founder of Virgin Group Ltd., listens to a question during a discussion at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's 13th annual Aviation Summit in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, April 3, 2014. The Aviation Summit brings together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss key issues facing the industry. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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NEW YORK (AP) - Virgin America's next destination is Wall Street.

The California-based airline filed on Monday for an initial public offering of shares.

Virgin America Inc., which operates out of Los Angeles and San Francisco, flies to 22 airports in the United States and Mexico and has a fleet of 53 planes. It is known for offering a variety of perks on its jets, including live TV, movies, leather seats and purple mood lighting.

But it's still a small player. Virgin America carried 6.3 million passengers last year, less than one percent of the total passengers that flew on U.S. airlines. And its fleet is a tiny fraction of what larger carriers have. For instance, United Airlines has more than 1,200 aircraft in its fleet. Virgin America was founded in 2004 but wasn't approved for flying until the summer of 2007.

The company has been unprofitable until last year, when it had earnings of $10.1 million. In recent years, the U.S. airline industry has posted record profits, while Virgin America has struggled. Since 2009 it has lost about $407.5 million. Revenue in 2013 rose 6.9 percent to $1.42 billion from $1.33 billion in 2012, according to the filling.

The company licenses the Virgin brand name from the Virgin Group, which was started by businessman Sir Richard Branson. The Virgin Group's parent company, VX Holdings, has a 22.1 percent stake in Virgin America, according to the filing.

Most of Virgin America's executives have worked at larger airlines. CEO and President C. David Cush, who has led the company since 2007, worked at American Airlines for 20 years. Senior Vice President E. Frances Fiorillo came from Canadian Airlines. Others have worked for Continental Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

For the purpose of the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it could raise as much as $115 million, but that number is likely to change.

The company, which has its headquarters in Burlingame, California, did not say when it expects the IPO to happen, how many shares it plans to offer, how much each share will cost or which exchange they will trade on.

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