Virgin America: 11 facts you may not know about America's next publicly traded airline

Virgin America this week said it will sell about 13 million shares at somewhere between $21 and $24 per share as part of its initial public offering. 

For my expert analysis, you'll unfortunately have to subscribe to Aviation Week, where I am a staff editor. But there are a bunch of facts in Virgin America's amended prospectus released this week that the average traveler might not know. I thought I'd summarize them here.

So here's all you need to know about Virgin America. And more.

  • Virgin America now has 53 aircraft -- 10 Airbus A319s and 43 Airbus A320s. The average age of the aircraft is 5.6 years-old. 
  • Ten more Airbus A320s will be delivered between July 2015 and July 2016.
  • Virgin America flies to only 21 airports in the U.S. and Mexico. 
  • Unlike Virgin America's current fleet, the new aircraft could have the range to make it Hawaii from the West Coast. But no decision has been made about whether Virgin America will fly to the islands. 
Will Virgin America eventually fly to Hawaii? Stay tuned. Photo: Virgin America.

Will Virgin America eventually fly to Hawaii? Stay tuned. Photo: Virgin America.

  • Virgin America must pay a licensing fee to Virgin Group to use the brand name. For now, that fee is 0.5% of all revenues, a sum that was $7.1 million in 2013. It'll go up to 0.7% of all revenues in 2016. 
  • Virgin America has essentially the same name as Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic, but it is an entirely independent company. U.S. law says that no more than a quarter of airline voting stock can be owned by non citizens.  And no more than 49.9% of an airline's overall stock can be owned by non-U.S. entities. 
  • Virgin America has been around since 2007. During that time, it has had one profitable year. That was 2013. (This year is shaping up to be year No. 2, however.
  • Virgin America calls its passengers, "Guests" and its employees, "Teammates"
In this photo, a Virgin America "teammate" serves a "guest." Photo: Virgin America. 

In this photo, a Virgin America "teammate" serves a "guest." Photo: Virgin America. 

  • For all you investors out there, Virgin America says it probably won't pay a dividend any time soon. "We currently intend to retain our future earnings, if any, to finance the further development and expansion of our business."
  • Virgin America makes $24.43 in non-airfare revenue off the average person. That includes baggage fees and money for food, drinks, movies and sleep kits. 
  • Next year Virgin America plans to upgrade its in-seat monitors, so you can "swipe touch," as you would on an iPhone or iPad.
Touch screens are coming to Virgin America. Photo: Virgin America.

Touch screens are coming to Virgin America. Photo: Virgin America.