VIRGIN AMERICA EXPANDS INTERLINE NETWORK: PARTNERS WITH EMIRATES

Award-Winning Airlines Team Up to Offer Enhanced Connections to the West Coast

San Francisco – December 13, 2010 – Virgin America, the California-based airline, announces that it has signed an interline agreement with Emirates, the Dubai-based international carrier, to offer U.S. travelers seamless travel on the networks of each carrier. The partnership which went live this fall, allows travelers the option to book flights through Emirates with connecting service on Virgin America, making travel easier and more convenient within a single itinerary. Bookings may be made through Emirates only and can be purchased through www.emirates.com, Emirates call centers, partner travel agencies and other online travel agencies.

“We’re pleased to partner with an airline also known for offering travelers a world-class flying experience – with a focus on upscale amenities and outstanding service,” said Adam Green, Director of Network Planning at Virgin America. “We hope this new agreement will offer guests a more seamless travel experience on two airlines known for the quality of their service.”

The frequency of both Emirates and Virgin America flights mean a shorter stop-over time for guests continuing on to Dubai, while the increased connections make traveling to the Middle East hub more accessible throughout the U.S. Flyers can now book a connecting flight on Virgin America, via its gateways in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York or Toronto.

“Our new agreement with Virgin America will bring our American West Coast gateways within easier reach of dozens of U.S. cities, making travel more convenient for customers travelling to or from the Middle East and beyond,” said Nigel Page, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for Americas and Africa at Emirates. “This partnership is a further demonstration of our commitment to the United States and we will continue to look for new opportunities to enhance our service provision moving forwards.”

Virgin America is a new U.S. airline that continues to experience significant growth with the addition of four new destinations in 2010. The airline has signed interline agreements with the following carriers since its 2007 launch:

For a full list of the airline’s partners, please visit: http://www.virginamerica.com/travel/virgin-partners.html

Emirates currently flies twice daily from Los Angeles, Houston and New York City, and daily from San Francisco nonstop to Dubai. In addition to award-winning onboard service, multi-course meals and 1,200 channels of on-demand entertainment, Emirates passengers in transit at Dubai International Airport can enjoy state-of-the-art facilities at Terminal 3, dedicated exclusively to the international carrier. An Emirates lounge is set to debut at San Francisco International Terminal in February 2011.

Since launching in August 2007, Virgin America has captured a list of industry best-in-class awards, including “Best Domestic Airline” in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 World’s Best Awards as well as best-in-class in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Zagat Global Airline survey. The airline offers mood-lit cabins, power outlets near every seat and the Red™ in-flight entertainment system – the most advanced personal touch-screen entertainment platform in the skies.

Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos (starting December 16, 2010) and Cancun (starting January 19, 2011). In July 2010, Virgin America placed one of the year’s single largest aircraft orders at the Farnborough International Airshow – announcing plans to order up to 60 new aircraft. The airline’s fleet is projected to grow by two-thirds by the end of 2011 and will triple in size by 2016.

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Media Contacts:

Virgin America: Abby Lunardini (650) 533-7576 / abby.lunardini@virginamerica.com
Emirates: Victoria King Public Relations (12381 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 203, Los Angeles, CA, 90025 / (310) 207-5175 / facsimile: (310) 207-5525 / info@vkpr.com)

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: Headquartered in California and launched in August 2007, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel, including in-flight internet service on every flight and the most advanced touch-screen entertainment platform in the skies. The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport. In just three years flying, Virgin America has created 1,700 new jobs and has swept the major reader-based travel awards, including “Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008, 2009 and 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 World’s Best Awards. For photos and more, visit: www.virginamerica.com

About Emirates: Emirates currently serves 109 cities around the globe with a young and technologically advanced fleet of 153 wide-bodied aircraft that are equipped with industry-leading comforts in the air. Additionally, Emirates has 200 wide-bodied aircraft on order, worth over US$68 billion, and is the leading customer of the Airbus A380 with 15 in its fleet and 75 on order, powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines. Fast Company Magazine recently picked the airline as one of the 50 “Most Innovative Companies” in the world and Emirates was also awarded the “World’s Best Airline Inflight Entertainment“ for the sixth year at the 2010 Skytrax World Airline Awards. Operations on Emirates from New York, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco connect America to the world through the airline’s route network with extensive connections from Dubai to the Far East, Australia and Africa. For more information, visit www.emirates.com/usa

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