Virgin America Inc. agreed to purchase 40 Airbus SAS A320 jets, a $3.26 billion buy that will more than double its fleet, as the low-carrier adds destinations.


The new planes will arrive from 2013 through 2016 with opportunities for 20 more aircraft. Virgin America announced the order on Thursday at the Farnborough Air Show near London.


The addition will support an expansion push that Chief Executive Officer David Cush said includes serving around three new cities per year through 2016.


“My expectation is that within the next 30 days we’ll announce another route that we’ll start flying before the end of the year, and that’ll definitely be a major business route,” Cush said Thursday in an interview at the show.


Virgin America currently has 28 planes, all from Toulouse, France-based Airbus. The carrier wants Airbus to add new engines to its A320 family of aircraft, and would be “first in line” to buy such jets, Cush said.




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