Virgin America

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virgin america
Analysis & Strategic Plan

strategic management 780-634
Michele K. Masterfano, DBA
LeBow College of Business
Drexel University
Summer 2012

Table of Contents

OVERVIEW 1

Fast Facts1

ENVIRONMENT3

Internal Analysis 3

Company Structure3

Company Culture3

Operations & Logistics3

Triple Bottom Line3

SWOT3

External Analysis 5

Competitive Environment5

Summary8

External SWOT Analysis9

Summary13

FINANCIAL 14

FUTURE 15

Potential15

Expansion16

Merger16

Acquisitions16

IPO17

Additional Recommendations17

SUMMATION18

REFERENCES19

Virgin America was founded by serial entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson of England. It is an airline that operates within the United States domestic market and is based out of San Francisco, California. Their mission is “to make flying good again, with brand new planes, attractive fares, top-notch service, and a host of fun, innovative amenities that are reinventing domestic air travel” (virginamerica.com). The first Virgin American flights arrived at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on August 8, 2007. Virgin America hit some roadblocks before entering the US market. The airline was granted approval by the Department of Transportation on the condition that that it would not be influenced by the foreign ownership. Branson was the brains behind launching Virgin America, but could not get approval to fly unless the airline was controlled by US investors. With that Branson is a 49% minority owner in Virgin America (usatoday.com). The airline industry is highly competitive so entry into the market was not met without opposition from other airlines.

Fast Facts

Virgin America flies non-stop to many destinations in the U.S. from the hub at SFO, including non-stops flights to New York. This route is the second largest direct flight path in the US, just behind Los Angeles to New York in which Virgin America also offers non-stop flights (marketwatch.com). As of the end of 2011 Virgin America is one of the five largest airports at SFO with 8% of the market share (based on domestic and international seats) (flysfo.com). It operates 93 flights a day to 15 cities in the US and three destinations in Mexico (beyondchron.org).

Virgin America currently has about 2500 employees, half of which live in the Bay Area. Virgin America and its employees pride themselves on making flying a good experience. They are very customer focused and committed to giving customers a memorable experience that they will remember as part of their trip. They have won several awards over the last five years for their excellent customer service including, Air Transport World 2011 Industry Achievement Awards for Best Passenger service, Best Low-Cost Airline in North America and Best Overall Guest Service in North America 2011 & 2012 (virginamerica.com). They also have newer planes equipped with better technology than other airlines. It was the first airline to offer in flight internet service fleet-wide. Their planes also have power outlets and touch screen TVs on every seat. Passengers can order food and drinks from the touch screen TVs on the seats.

ENVIRONMENT

Internal Analysis (Jose)

Company Structure

Company Culture

Operations & Logistics

Triple Bottom Line

SWOT

• Strengths-
- Unique Corporate Culture
- Environmental Sustainability
- Strong Employee Benefits
- Local Focus
- Strategic/Organic Growth Opportunities
- Location
- Social Technology Advancement
• Weakness
- Size
- Location/Limited Service Areas
- Relative Youth
- Anti-Union
• Opportunities
- New Employment Hubs- Sacramento
- New revenue...
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