With more than 30 years of experience working in the aviation industry, Steve Forte joined Virgin America in 2013 as the carrier’s first Chief Operating Officer and Director of Operations, with oversight of Flight Operations, Operations Control, Aircraft Maintenance, Engineering, Safety, Security, Airports and Guest Services.
Steve spent most of his career at United Airlines, where he started as a pilot and made the transition to Flight Operations management. He was United’s Senior Vice President of Flight Operations and Director of Operations, a position he held from 1999 to 2006. Steve is type-rated on the Lear Jet, B727, B747, B747-400, B757, B767, B777 and the Airbus A320 family of aircraft operated by Virgin America, and has over 14,000 flight hours in 50 different aircraft types. A former Chairman of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operations Council and Airlines for America (A4A – formerly the Air Transport Association) Operations Committee, Steve has worked closely with global airlines, manufacturers, and regulators on a variety of industry issues.
Prior to joining Virgin America, Steve was Chief Executive Officer of Naverus, Inc., a global leader in performance-based software that was acquired by GE Aviation.
Steve is on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board and a member of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and an MBA, both from the University of Arizona.
A native of Philadelphia, Steve and his wife Jill have two boys and reside in Manhattan Beach, California.