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Virgin America

by Adam Berman and Frank C. Schultz

This case illustrates how Virgin America, founded in 2007, craved a niche of dedicated urbanite-flyers in the highly competitive -- but staid -- airline industry by redefining the passenger flying experience. In 2012, approximately 20 percent of Virgin America's passengers accounted for 80 percent of the airline's revenue. The A case begins with Virgin America's launch in August 2007, when the airline began with transcontinental flights between New York City and Los Angeles and San Francisco, and then goes through August 2012, after the airline had expanded into 19 market destinations across the United States and Mexico but was still unprofitable. In the A case, the dynamics of the airline industry, customer experience and loyalty, and niche marketing are explored. The A case ends with several questions, including those asking students to evaluate Virgin America's business model and to identify the action steps needed to reach profitability. The B case then covers Virgin America during 2013 and the decisions Cush and his management team made to make the airline profitable that year, an important financial milestone prior to any possible IPO. The C case concludes with Virgin America's successful IPO in November 2014. Please note: This case also has (B) and (C) supplements available.


Pub Date: Jul 14, 2016

Discipline: Entrepreneurship

Subjects: Organizational behavior, Startup, Decision making, Management styles, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Risk management, Organizational culture, Marketing, Market positioning, Start-ups

Product #: B5828-PDF-ENG

Industry: Airlines

Geography: United States, California

Length: 21 page(s)

Berkeley Haas Case Series
Berkeley Haas Case Series The Berkeley Haas Case Series is a collection of business case studies written by faculty members at the Haas School of Business. Cases are conceived, developed, written, and published throughout the year, on subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and strategy to finance and marketing. Each case includes a teaching note for use in the classroom.


Berkeley Haas Case Series

A new collection of business case studies from Berkeley Haas

The aim of the Berkeley Haas Case Series is to incite business innovation by clarifying disruptive trends and questioning the status quo.

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