January load factor numbers came out last month, but after looking back at Virgin America's Q4 yesterday, I thought it would be worthwhile to look for any leading indicators of the airline's Q1 performance. They aren't good.
In Q4, you saw an airline that was stagnant. It wasn't growing (actually shrunk slightly), and there were no signs that profitability was anywhere on the horizon. We don't know much about Q1 yet, but we do know January load factors. Take a look.
It wasn't until February and March that demand really started to fall off for the other carriers. Add in the fact that fuel prices have started to steadily creep up, and you have some pretty rough prospects for Virgin America's Q1.