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November 14, 2014

Virgin America shares jump 30 percent in the first day of trading

Wright Amendment Virgin 003Virgin America went public on Friday and its shares immediately took off.

The San Francisco-based carrier priced its shares at $23.00 for its initial public offering and by midday, shares were trading around $29.90, up 30 percent.

The company issued 13.3 million shares for the public sale under the ticker symbol VA on the NASDAQ exchange. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group owns a 22 percent stake in the U.S. airline.

Virgin America recently launched service at Dallas Love Field after the Wright Amendment restrictions were lifted in October. The carrier, which bills itself as a hipper way to fly, is much smaller than other domestic airlines, with 53 planes flying to 21 destinations.

The airline lost millions since it was founded until last year when it posted a $10.1 million profit for 2013.

-Andrea Ahles

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