Aviation DOT's aircraft restriction lifted for Virgin America By Robert Silk / March 04, 2016 Share 1 -- The Department of Transportation has removed the limit on the number of planes Virgin America can fly.“We conclude that Virgin America has the proper regard for the laws and regulations governing its operations to ensure that its aircraft and personnel conform to applicable safety standards and that acceptable consumer relations practices will be followed,” the department wrote in a March 2 order.Virgin America, which launched in 2007, had been under fleet-size restrictions that the DOT places on new carriers. Virgin was initially authorized to operate 22 aircraft. The DOT increased that number to 63 in 2011.Virgin America requested that the regulators remove its fleet-size restriction in a Sept. 4 application last year.In granting that request the DOT noted that the carrier has had zero crashes and that it is on solid financial footing, with assets that exceeded liabilities by $154.5 million as of last June. Virgin’s fleet size was 55 as of September, all of them single-aisle Airbus aircraft. The carrier expected to take delivery eight additional Airbus jets by June. Virgin America currently flies to 24 destinations in the U.S. and Mexico. Its principal base of operations is San Francisco International Airport.