Virgin America And HBO Take Entourage To The Skies On New JFK-LAS Route
Partners Unveil Customized 'Entourage Air' Aircraft and Launch Entourage Class' on New Non-Stop Route Entourage Cast & Sir Richard Branson Kick-off Route with Hangar Party, First-Ever In-flight Advance Screening
San Francisco — Sep. 4, 2008 —Virgin America and HBO today will launch the airline's new non-stop route from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) and unveil "Entourage Class" on the new flights. A custom Virgin America Airbus A320 "Entourage Air" will take center stage at a star-studded send-off event before embarking on the inaugural flight, which will feature the in-flight advance screening of the first episode of Entourage Season 5 (premiering on HBO on Sunday, September 7).
Sir Richard Branson and Entourage Cast Pop Dom Pérignon
Virgin Group Founder and Chairman Sir Richard Branson, Entourage Creator and Executive Producer Doug Ellin, and cast members Adrian Grenier, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon, and Kevin Connolly will kick off the event by christening the new aircraft with Dom Pérignon. Flight guests (including top Elevate frequent fliers) will walk the red carpet to board "Entourage Air" for two memorable firsts: the first-ever in-flight advance screening of a cable or broadcast program in the U.S. and Virgin America's first non-stop service from JFK to LAS.
"At a time when many U.S. carriers are cutting routes and amenities, we're pleased to be adding flights to world-class destinations like LAS and winning awards for our upscale design, entertainment and service. We thought it was fitting to launch our non-stop flights from New York to the entertainment capital of the world, with HBO content fleet-wide and "Entourage Class" service in First Class," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "As an airline hoping to reinvent U.S. air travel, we're proud to enter this unique partnership with HBO, a company famous for redefining its own genre with edgy, award-winning content like Entourage."
Sir Richard Branson and Entourage Cast
During September, First Class guests on Virgin America's new non-stop JFK-LAS route will fly "Entourage Class"* and receive A-List perks like noise canceling headphones, champagne, Godiva chocolates, Kiehl's Since 1851 travel kits, Altoids Mints and "Entourage Air" blankets and eye masks. The hangar event will include a full-service cocktail bar and a champagne bar sponsored by Dom Pérignon.
"With this groundbreaking promotion, we've created a unique, aspirational experience that will give guests a taste of the Entourage lifestyle and allow them to sample the series through Virgin's ultra-modern in-flight entertainment system," said Courteney Monroe, Executive Vice President of Consumer Marketing at HBO.
The unveiling of "Entourage Air" and the JFK-LAS route will kick-off of a larger licensing partnership between HBO and Virgin America, allowing the airline to offer premium HBO content on RED, its interactive, in-flight entertainment system from Sept. 5, 2008 — October 2009. To mark the Season 5 premiere of Entourage, the partners are bringing the hit series to skies with free episodes for all guests on RED fleet-wide in September.
Upon touchdown in Las Vegas, airport leadership and the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority will fete guests at the arrival gate in true Las Vegas fashion: with a traditional water cannon salute, showgirls, champagne, and much fanfare. Guests will receive VIP travel from CLS Las Vegas to Palms Casino Resort, where the N9NE Group will host an after-party for "Entourage Air" guests at the Playboy Club that evening.
"We're pleased that Las Vegas was the destination chosen for Virgin America's latest new route," said Terry Jicinsky, Senior Vice President of Marketing, LVCVA. "We applaud the creative collaboration between the airline and HBO on the creation of "Entourage Class" service. It's a perfect fit for Las Vegas, which is a place people come to get away from the everyday — they might even feel like celebrities themselves."
Virgin America and HBO are also launching the "Entourage Air" Live It! Sweepstakes**, featuring a VIP trip for four to Las Vegas that includes $5000, First Class tickets on Virgin America, a stay at Palms Casino Resort One-Story Sky Villa-Fantasy Tower, Palms spa treatments and more. For more information, including instruction on how to win, visit: www.entourageairliveit.com
Virgin America flies to seven cities, including: 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 now non-stop flights from JFK to LAS. Virgin America's JFK-LAS fares start at $159 one way in Main Cabin and $744 one way in First Class. ***
Marketing agency Civic Entertainment Group, New York, handles the campaign for HBO and crafted the partnership with Virgin America.
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Media Contact: Abby Lunardini (650) 533-7576 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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 #1 among U.S. carriers for quality in First/Business Class and #2 in Main Cabin. The airline's brand new fleet is 30 percent more fuel efficient than the average domestic fleet. To learn more: www.virginamerica.com
About HBO Entourage: From executive producers Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Doug Ellin, Rob Weiss and Denis Biggs, HBO's award-winning, hit comedy series ENTOURAGE draws on the experiences of industry insiders, and stars Adrian Grenier as Vince, who is enjoying life in the limelight as a hot young actor; Kevin Connolly as Eric, Vince's manager, who tries to help him make the right choices; Kevin Dillon as Vince's half-brother Drama, whose own career has been eclipsed by Vince's success; Jerry Ferrara as Turtle, the least savvy of the group; and Golden Globe® and two-time Emmy® winner Jeremy Piven as Ari, who serves as Vince's aggressive, high-powered agent.
*Terms & Conditions: Must be a valid first class ticket holder on JFK-LAS flight during period of Sept. 4 — October 1, 2008 to receive partner products on Entourage Class. Virgin America and HBO reserve the right to discontinue the promotion on any flight, at any time. Headphones and blankets are samples only — guests will be required to leave them on the plane.
** No Purchase Necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to residents of the 48 contiguous U.S. & D.C., 21 or older. All entries must be received by 10/1/08.
*** Requires seven day advance purchase for Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday travel.