Can Virgin America Spin Branding Gold Into Lasting Value?

The low–cost airline posts profits and eyes an IPO. But can it maintain its affordability?

Known for its groovy, LED–lit interiors, its in–flight Wi–Fi, and entertainment channels, its unabashed courting of social media "influencers," and its green policies, Virgin America has been the hip low–cost carrier of choice for six years now, ferrying the cool people coast to coast from JFK to SFO to LAX. Even its safety videos are hip. But what Virgin hasn't been able to do until now is post consistent profits; in fact it's lost $600 million of Richard Branson's money since the brash billionaire founded it in 2007.

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