The Department of Transportation denied Virgin America’s strange request to be allowed to withhold from public disclosure the financial and operating data that airlines are required to submit to the government.
Competing airlines objected strongly to Virgin America’s request to be able to conceal its balance sheet, cash-flow position, and a list of other data, including traffic and passenger origin-destination information. Virgin America had asserted that public release of the data would cause “substantial competitive harm.”
Virgin America began flying last August to good reviews, but it has not been clear whether the start-up carrier’s load factors, especially in coach, were holding up.
Here’s a copy of the Transportation Department’s denial, issued late this afternoon, of Virgin America’s request: