Branson has said that the US could support another LCC. But he has two problems.
First, there is the foreign ownership limit. He can only own 49% of a US carrier, and he can only have 25% voting power. Since Branson doesn't like the problems of being a publicly-traded business, he would have to find a US partner willing to buy into his venture.
The second problem is that he has to find a city that could operate as a hub. It shouldn't have a legacy carrier operating a hub, and yet, it must have enough O&D traffic to keep the airline afloat until it has enough routes. The two largest cities that come to mind are STL
, but Vanguard couldn't make a go of it in MCI
is shrinking its hub at STL
. In either case, he would have to go up against Southwest.
One possibility is CLE
. There has been a rumor for years that CO
is on the verge of closing its hub there. If Branson came in with an airline that provided more frills than Southwest (more legroom, meals, the on-board masseuse) that could drive CO
out, yet not get into an all-out fare war with Southwest.