Virgin America Inc., the trendy California-based discount airline, is aiming for an initial public offering as soon as next year, after it hopes to post its first annual profit in 2012, Chief Executive David Cush said.
When the carrier was founded in 2007, it targeted this year or next for an IPO. But fuel costs “essentially wiped out the operating profit” for 2011, delaying plans, Mr. Cush said Thursday in an interview.
Virgin America is the fastest-growing airline in the U.S., with plans to increase capacity by about 30% this year. The Burlingame, Calif., airline lost nearly $70 million in the first nine months of 2011, according to the most recent results available, but Mr. Cush said the company is showing strong profits in routes it has operated for at least a year.