Virgin America Celebrates A Successful Virgin Year
Award Winning Airline Marks First Anniversary with Gate Celebrations for Guests
San Francisco — Aug. 8, 2008 — Virgin America, the California-based airline that is making flying good again, today is marking its first year of flying with birthday celebrations for guests and teammates at its home base of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and across all of its destination city airports.
"Virgin America was launched with the goal of creating an airline that would make flying in the U.S. good again, by redesigning the entire guest experience with upscale, innovative amenities and top-notch service," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "With close to 1.7 million guests served, seven destination cities, and a list of travel industry best-in-class awards, we couldn't be more pleased to celebrate our first birthday with the people who believed we could change the way people fly — our loyal guests and teammates."
To mark its successful Virgin year, guests on morning flights today will be feted with bubbly and birthday cake at their arrival and departure gates. At SFO, Cush will greet guests at Gates A1-A3 with birthday cake, balloons and California Brut provided by another Golden State company — Virgin America's first sparkling wine partner, the San Diego-based KARMA Fine Beverages. The SFO festivities also will include the debut of the newest member of the airline's fleet, an Airbus A319 named "The 1-Year Old Virgin."
"Congratulations to Virgin America on its first anniversary at SFO," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "This partnership has been terrific for Bay Area businesses and residents. We look forward to many, many more anniversaries to come."
The Office of Mayor Newsom has declared Aug. 8, 2008, "Virgin America Day" in the City of San Francisco. Virgin America teammates and community supporters will continue the celebration this evening at a San Francisco Giants home game at AT&T Park, where Cush will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
With just one year under its belt, Virgin America has much to celebrate with a list of travel industry best-in-class awards, including "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards and a No. 1 among U.S. carriers for quality in First/Business Class in Zagat's 2007 Global Airlines Survey.
"Our teammates have accomplished a lot during this first year, and it is great to know from the awards we've already won that our guests think so too," said Cush. "We built an airline from the ground-up by focusing on what guests actually want, and we couldn't be more pleased that the public has embraced us in such a short time flying."
Virgin America has proven to be one of the fastest growing U.S. start-up airlines of all time. Since launching on Aug. 8, 2007, the airline has grown to 1300 teammates and more than 80 flights a day with service to seven destinations from its home-base at SFO. The only airline based in California, Virgin America has a brand new 24-aircraft Airbus A320-family fleet and has completed 18,000 flights, welcomed almost 11 million visitors to its Web Site, and served 1.7 million guests since its launch. The airline's loyalty program, Elevate, has grown to over 460,000 members to date.
In its first year flying, Virgin America has marked a few other notable firsts:
- First airline to win Travel + Leisure's World's Best Domestic Airline in its first year flying;
- First U.S. airline with a "food button" or touch-screen seatback food ordering system at every seat;
- First domestic airline to offer more than 30 on-demand movies at every seat;
- First U.S. airline expected to have WiFi on every plane in its fleet by the Spring of 2009;
- Best capitalized start-up airline in U.S. history;
- First ever Victoria's Secret PJ Fashion Show on a domestic airline flight from JFK-LAX;
- First U.S. airline with power outlets at every seat;
- Newest domestic fleet in U.S., which is up to 30 percent more carbon and fuel efficient than other domestic airlines;
- First in-flight wedding on a SFO-LAS inaugural flight officiated by Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson;
- First U.S. airline to offer loyalty member an opportunity to fly their way to a seat on a Virgin Galactic flight, and
- First U.S. airline to launch a loyalty program where members could earn points from the day the airline launched.
Virgin America currently flies to seven cities with daily flights from: SFO to LAX, SFO to JFK, SFO to SAN, SFO to IAD, SFO to LAS, SFO to SEA, LAX to JFK, LAX to IAD, LAX to SEA, and starting Sept. 4, 2008, non-stop JFK to LAS.
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Media Contact: Abby Lunardini (650) 533-7576 / firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled and operated airline and an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.
About Virgin America: Launched in August 2007, Virgin America is a California-based airline that 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 ultra-modern and convenient International Terminal. The airline's new Airbus A320-family aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets for laptops and other electronic gear. In July 2008, Virgin America was named "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards. In Zagat's 2007 Global Airlines Survey, the airline was ranked No. 1 among U.S. carriers for quality in First/Business Class and No. 2 in Main Cabin. To learn more: www.virginamerica.com
About KARMA Fine Beverages: Launched in September 2007, KARMA Fine Beverages produces KARMA California Brut, an innovative, ready-to-drink, 187 ml single serving of sparkling wine. The glass bottle, fashioned to resemble a champagne flute, with a wide screw-off cap, allows for convenient sips and a hip new way to drink casually, like any other beer or cocktail. Described as "clean, crisp and dry" -- the grapes of KARMA are carefully selected from Central California vineyards and possess intense aromas with subtle hints of melon and pear. With exclusive distribution at only the trendiest nightclubs, hot spots and lounges, KARMA retails individually for $6.99 or in 4-packs, $27.96. For more information about KARMA, visitwww.karmabeverages.com or call 877-KARMA-07.