Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love Virgin America. The California-based airline has announced that starting April 4, 2012, they will offer three daily nonstop flights from Philadelphia (PHL) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and two daily nonstop flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) starting April 10, 2012.
Connecting flights will also be available from PHL to Virgin America’s San Diego, Seattle and Las Vegas destinations. “This is a great development for the entire Philadelphia region, including northern Delaware, southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “New airline service not only lowers fares for travelers, but it is also a major economic driver – stimulating business travel, tourism and local job growth. Virgin America’s new flights also validate the strong and growing business travel link between our region’s innovation-based sectors and those on the West Coast.”
At a time when most airlines are cutting capacity, Virgin America will bring much needed nonstop competition from California’s largest airports to PHL. Currently, only legacy carriers serve the West Coast-PHL routes nonstop. When entering markets that offer little low-fare competition, Virgin America has historically seen fares drop by up to one-third. In addition, 50% of travelers flying from PHL to the Los Angeles market now use connecting flights and 45% of those traveling from PHL to the San Francisco Bay Area are connecting passengers.
The PHL announcement was first shared with the carrier’s social media fans earlier today, via a video that spotted the mysterious ‘Greenman’ from the FX television show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” near a Virgin America aircraft.