Virgin America Not Losing Money Quite So Fast

San Francisco-based airline reports reduction in overall losses

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    Richard Branson has much to smile about, as his Virgin America airline is now losing much less money than it was a year ago.

    Virgin America, the San Francisco-based discount domestic airline that's a favorite among coastal bohemians and the poverty jet set reported that it's now not nearly as unprofitable as it was last year.

    The airline, which playboy billionaire Richard Branson likes to call a "startup," only lost $48 million last year, compared to $188 million the year before.

    The "load factor," or average number of seats sold per flight, has increased to 84.3 percent in the last quarter, which the company says is better than the industry as a whole has been able to maintain.

    The company's main hub is in San Francisco, and connects popular destinations on the West Coast with eastern cities such as New York.

    Virgin America recently added service to Toronto International from both San Francisco and Los Angeles International airports, making it that much easier for Canadian hipsters to escape to California for the winter.

    Jackson West admits he flies Virgin America pretty much all the time now to Seattle and New York.