Bad Week for Virgin America: Blogger Black Eye and Imminent “Competitive Harm”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Virgin’s battle to prevent disclosure of their financial and traffic data has come to an end:
The airline has sought to keep its data under wraps, claiming it would suffer “competitive harm” if forced to open its books.
Rivals have pressured regulators to make Virgin America disclose a range of performance and financial statistics.
Industry analysts have speculated that the numbers if/when revealed could indicate a lack of financial viability for the airline.
Avondale Partners airline analyst Bob McAdoo, meanwhile, predicted in a research note Monday that upstart Virgin America — which is privately held and therefore releases less operating information than publicly owned carriers — could be the next casualty.
McAdoo cited preliminary filings with the Department of Transportation that suggest the carrier is rapidly losing money, and flew planes that were considerably emptier than some of its competitors through the end of last year.
“We caution that these estimates are based on limited (Transportation Department) filings and may be overly pessimistic,” he wrote. “However, given the ownership structure of Virgin America … we see parallels between Virgin and the three failed airlines.”
As if that isn’t enough, the blogosphere is up in arms about Virgin America suing a blogger over a parody ad.