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Virgin America Adds Orlando, Toronto

Virgin America customers will soon be able to fly the low-cost carrier to the land of Mickey or the Hockey Hall of Fame. The airline announced today that it will begin service to Orlando this summer, and that it has filed an application to serve Toronto. The airline also plans to announce three more new destinations later this year. It has long been speculated that Virgin America will add service to Chicago at some point.

Virgin America will fly daily nonstops to Orlando from Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco starting August 19. Fares will start at $149 from L.A. and $199 from San Francisco, and tickets are on sale as of today.

As for Toronto, Virgin plans to fly one daily nonstop and one daily connecting flight from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Virgin could begin service as early as June, depending on when it receives approval for the routes. Fares are not yet available.

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Virgin America also announced it will end service at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County, outside L.A. The move comes as the airline ramps up operations at LAX, and Virgin said all employees at SNA will receive equivalent positions at LAX or elsewhere.

All of this comes on the heels of the government's emphatic and final declaration that Virgin America is, by definition, an American company, a fact many competitors had disputed due to the airline's ties to international investors and Richard Branson's U.K.-based Virgin Group. Now, with its citizenship no longer in question, the airline seems poised to grow at a more rapid pace. The airline said it plans to grow its fleet by a third over the next 12 months.

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