Virgin America Signs Interline with South African Airways

Award-winning Domestic Airline Expands Global Partnerships

San Francisco – October 1, 2009 – Virgin America, the award-winning California-based airline, and South African Airways (SAA) have implemented an interline agreement offering seamless travel on the networks of each carrier – across their United States (U.S.) and transatlantic routes.

The new interline arrangement is effective as of today for travel beginning October 1, 2009. Effective immediately, the agreement will allow connecting guests to purchase interline tickets for travel between the U.S. and South Africa, via their travel agent or through SAA’s customer call center at 800-722-9675. Both airlines will transfer baggage between connecting flights and to guests’ final destinations.

“We’re pleased to sign an interline agreement with South African Airways, an airline known for its award-winning, international service,” said Virgin America’s Director of Network Planning, Adam Green. “This partnership allows us to provide travelers with simple connections via New York and Washington D.C. on airlines known for outstanding guest service. About one-third of transatlantic air traffic bound for South Africa originates from the West Coast, so we’re pleased to give these travelers a fresh, value-based new option.”

The interline partnership offers a new choice for SAA guests to connect at New York (JFK) and Washington D.C. (IAD) to several other Virgin America destinations, including San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Las Vegas (LAS), San Diego (SAN) and Seattle (SEA). Virgin America and SAA are located in the same terminals in New York (JFK) and Washington, D.C. (IAD), making connections for guests as simple and seamless as possible. SAA offers daily, nonstop service from New York (JFK) to Johannesburg (JNB). From Washington, D.C., SAA provides direct service to Johannesburg (JNB) via a quick stop in Dakar (DKR).

Since its launch in August 2007, Virgin America has captured a list of industry best-in-class awards, including most recently “Best Business/First Class” among domestic airlines in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2009 Business Travel Poll. The airline offers travelers low fares and high-tech features, including touch-screen seatback entertainment, standard power outlets near every seat and Gogo® In-flight Internet on every flight.

Virgin America’s mood-lit, custom-designed new cabins feature more comfortable, ergonomically correct leather seats and Red™ – the most advanced entertainment system in the U.S. skies. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seats with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, Virgin America’s First Class cabin features international-grade amenities, including plush white leather seats with 55 inches of pitch and lumbar massagers. The carrier’s premium cabin option, Main Cabin Select, offers amenities not found in a typical domestic First Class service. Main Cabin Select offers 38-inches of seat pitch, complimentary food and cocktails, an all-access pass to Red’s countless entertainment options, dedicated overhead bin space, one free checked bag and priority check-in and boarding.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Virgin America to offer great travel benefits and convenient connection options between South Africa and the U.S.,” said Marc Cavaliere, Executive Vice President, North America, for South African Airways. “This agreement represents collaboration between two world-class, award-winning airlines dedicated to excellence and to offering the most comfortable and convenient way to travel.”

South African Airways, Africa’s most awarded airline, features daily nonstop service from the U.S. to South Africa with departures from New York JFK, and direct service from Washington Dulles (with a stop in Dakar, Senegal) that offer travel convenience and award-winning service. Travelers in Premium Business Class enjoy 180° fully flat-bed seats, and in economy class enjoy the most legroom versus competitors. Every seat on board offers an individual on-demand entertainment system, plush pillow, warm blanket and amenity kit. SAA’s unrivaled network, featuring seamless connections to more than 20 destinations within South Africa, and more than 20 cities across the rest of the continent, makes the airline the savvy traveler’s “gateway to Africa.” To complement this network, a world of privileges awaits those who join Voyager, South African Airways’ premier mileage program. For more information on South African Airways, please call (800) 722-9675 or visit, where travelers can sign up to be notified of travel deals and vacation packages.

Interline electronic tickets for Virgin America and SAA connecting flights can now be booked through all the major Global Distribution Systems (GDS). Travel agents should refer to either carrier’s GDS reference pages for further booking instructions. Earlier this year, Virgin America signed its first interline agreement with its sister carrier – Virgin Blue’s international airline, V Australia. Virgin America continues to expand its partnerships with global carriers.

Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Orange County and as of Nov. 18, 2009 – Fort Lauderdale. The airline currently offers daily flights from: SFO to LAX, SFO to JFK, SFO to SAN, SFO to IAD, SFO to LAS, LAX to JFK, LAX to IAD, SFO to SEA, SEA to LAX, JFK to LAS, BOS to LAX, BOS to SFO, SFO to SNA and as of Nov. 18, 2009 – LAX to FLL and SFO to FLL.

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Media Contact:Abby Lunardini (650) 533-7576 /

EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S. controlled and operated airline. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.

About Virgin America: Launched in August 2007, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. Virgin America’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport’s modern International Terminal. In just two years flying, the airline was named "Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards and in Travel + Leisure’s 2008 and 2009 World’s Best Awards. The airline’s new Airbus A320-family aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat for electronic gear. Virgin America offers in-flight internet service on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the domestic skies via its touch-screen Red™ seatback system. In addition to a 25-film library including Oscar winners, foreign language films and Hollywood blockbusters, Red features live TV, videogames, seat-to-seat chat, 3,000 MP3s, music videos and more. For more please visit:

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