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Old 02-24-2007, 04:28 AM   #1  
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Default VA to lease planes

WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Virgin America, the fledgling airline with ties to British entrepreneur Richard Branson, has begun leasing Airbus A320s to others to generate revenue as it struggles to win permission from the U.S. government to operate, its chief executive said on Friday.

Fred Reid told reporters after a speech to an industry group that the company has finalized two leases with a U.S. start-up airline and is in the process of negotiating two more leases with a foreign carrier he would not name.

Reid said the leases were short-term in case Virgin America needed to take the planes back for its own operations.

He would not discuss lease terms but industry officials said Virgin America's brand-new planes were probably worth millions in monthly lease fees.

Virgin America has now taken delivery of 11 Airbus aircraft for its San Francisco-based operation that sought U.S. Transportation Department approval to operate 15 months ago. The government tentatively denied operating authority in late December, finding that Virgin America's ownership structure did not satisfy federal law that limits foreign investment in U.S. airlines.

Regulators were particularly concerned about Virgin America's ties to Branson's Virgin Group (VA.UL: Quote, Profile , Research), which runs Virgin Atlantic Airline and has provided some financing and branding rights to the U.S. entrant.

Reid, who has stressed all along that Virgin America would be solely under the control of American investors and management, said he would step down if it would clear the way for government approval. The company has made other ownership and investment concessions to satisfy regulators.

The U.S. Transportation Department could make a final decision within weeks.

Some major U.S. airlines have opposed Virgin America's application, as have labor unions who fear that foreign control of a U.S. airline could undermine their jobs.

"The patience and the tenacity of our investors is legendary. They are not willing to give up. It is too good of an idea. We've come too far to stop," Reid said.

Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:47 PM   #2  
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Default check out paintcan

check out the threads from paintcan....whatta loser!
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:55 PM   #3  
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Indeed mary has nothing better to do.
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:20 AM   #4  
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When sir dick leases out your airplanes, what are you duckies going to fly? LOL!
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:56 AM   #5  
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When sir dick leases out your airplanes, what are you duckies going to fly? LOL!
Reid said the leases were short-term in case Virgin America needed to take the planes back for its own operations.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:43 PM   #6  
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Seem like a financially sound thing to do until the weazels at DOT run out of excuses.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:55 PM   #7  
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Seem like a financially sound thing to do until the weazels at DOT run out of excuses.
How about until VA meets all the legal requirements. Seems to me like VA is trying to exert political pressure to prevent the DOT from making VA comply with the law.
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Old 02-28-2007, 05:09 PM   #8  
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Fortunately, sir dick doesn't have as much political pull with the White House as Houston-based CAL.

Thank God.
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Old 02-28-2007, 05:30 PM   #9  
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talk all you want green face...but you can't hide from the inevitable, VA will be flying sooner then you think.
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Old 02-28-2007, 05:37 PM   #10  
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Wasn't the original start up date 2006?
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