Virgin America (VX, San Francisco, CA) CEO David Cush says his airline sees the A321 from Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) as the best fit option for its growing network. In an interview with Aviation Week, Cush said that while Virgin would ideally like to acquire the A321neo, its cost and potentially limited availability meant the A321ceo would be the next best option. As such, Virgin plans to acquire approximately six or seven A321ceo each year between 2017 and 2019, he said.

With its fleet currently made up of ten A319-100s and forty-three A320-200s, Cush said that of the ten A320-200 (sl)s due for delivery over the next twelve months, six are to be ETOPS-rated in order to ply upcoming Hawaiian flights. Virgin plans to launch San Francisco, CA to Honolulu and Kahului flights in November and December respectively.

Concerning future fleet plans, Cush said Virgin holds rights to thirty NEO airframes with deliveries starting in 2020. Thereafter, it can exercise those rights in batches of five with two years' notice.

Virgin also plans to acquire its own jets in a bid to reach a near 1:4 ratio of owned-to-leased aircraft in its fleet.