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Alaska Airlines challenges Virgin America citizenship again

14th March 2009 - 08:33 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Alaska Airlines has reiterated its call on the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to check on Virgin America's compliance with US foreign ownership regulations on domestic carriers.

Alaska has gone further than the petition it lodged in February and asked DOT to promptly issue an order tentatively finding that Virgin America no longer qualifies as a US carrier.

According to Alaska Airlines, a March 9 Wall Street Journal story reported that US-based investors in Virgin America had exercised their rights to sell back their almost 77% of the carrier's capital to the UK-based Virgin Group Ltd.

After the February petition by Alaska, Virgin America commented, “This is a meritless petition. We are a US owned and controlled airline that is in full compliance with the law and all Department of Transportation regulations. Nothing has changed in our ownership structure which was approved by the DOT. Should our ownership structure change in the future, we will of course notify the DOT in advance, so they can confirm our continuing compliance.”

Virgin America says it has no further comment to add in response to the latest Alaska petition.

The Shephard News Team

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