Virgin America has been flirting with Chicago O’Hare for several months now. The airline had hoped to launch its service in the fall of ’08, but, obviously, that isn’t going to happen. Now Virgin is telling fans that the first take-off from the famously busy airport will be in Spring of next year. Fair enough. It hasn’t been a good year for airlines. Why not back off and wait for calmer skies?
But the delay has nothing to do with economics. At least, that’s what Virgin is saying. Rather, the failure to launch from ORD is due to the high demand for gates at the airport. O’Hare was not able to provide the gates that Virgin wanted because they are already being used. That is not a new scenario for those familiar with the airport. Even hyped and hip airlines like Virgin have to wait in line like everyone else. But don’t fear, jet-setting hipsters of Chicago, Virgin America will be losing its O’Hare cherry soon enough.