VIRGIN AMERICA OFFICIAL AIRLINE OF THE TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 
Award–Winning Airline Kicks Off Digital Promotion for Flyers to ‘Sweet–Talk Their Way Into this Year’s Festival’

San Francisco — September 1, 2010Virgin America today announced that it has been named the Official Airline of the 35th annual Toronto International Film Festival®, which takes place from September 9–19, 2010.  This year’s festival features over 300 films from across the globe and will also celebrate the opening of TIFF Bell Lightbox, a highly anticipated theatre and event space which will enable TIFF to provide programming year–round.  In addition to being the airline of choice for artists, filmmakers and stars headed from California’s West Coast to Toronto for this year’s Festival, Virgin America and the Toronto International Film Festival have teamed up to offer cinephiles the chance to win the ultimate date in Toronto:  flight, hotel, dinner for two, and tickets to the world–renowned Film Festival.* This  summer, Virgin America kicked off new nonstop service from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Toronto, with a series of splashy launch events.  The airline’s upscale amenities have quickly made it a favorite among the tech–forward and media savvy flyers along the routes. 

“With unrivalled in–flight entertainment, Virgin America is truly the airline of choice for film lovers across North America.  We’re thrilled to partner with the Toronto International Film Festival to support filmmakers around the world — and to help this year’s festival goers arrive entertained and in style,” said Porter Gale, Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America.

Virgin America offers beautifully designed mood–lit cabins, standard power outlets near every seat and Red™ — the largest and most advanced personal touch–screen entertainment platform in the skies.  The Red platform offers 700+ hours of entertainment content:  twice the amount of its nearest Canadian competitor.  Red offers 30 on–demand films (from latest release Hollywood blockbusters to Oscar favorites, indie and foreign language films), live and premium TV, Google Maps, music videos, videogames, seat–to–seat chat, a 3000 MP3 library, a first–of–its–kind digital Shop section and an on–demand menu — so guests can order a cocktail or meal from their seatback any time during a flight.  In 2009, Virgin America’s menu was named best–in–class in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.  In September, Virgin America is also launching a new DocTV channel on the Red in–flight entertainment system, where three films produced by emerging or established documentary filmmakers will be featured every two months.  The first series of documentaries will feature three separate works from producers Pam Bell and James Ellison Wills.

The eleven–day Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, drawing an audience of over 250,000 annually to Toronto for the high–profile event.  The Toronto International Film Festival is often considered a launching pad for both Hollywood and independent films.

“We’re delighted to partner with Virgin America for this year’s Festival,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO, TIFF.  “We’re pleased to have them serve Toronto as our newest airline – and to partner with them to help bring in some of the thousands of visitors who will arrive for this year’s Festival.”

Virgin America and the 2010 Festival have also teamed up for a unique digital promotion.  California and Toronto residents may visit the airline’s Web site or social media sites through September 2, 2010 and submit their best pickup line, with the hopes of “smooth talking” their way into the Festival.  Three lucky winners will score tickets to attend the prestigious opening night gala as well as a hotel stay and dinner for two.  Winning California residents will receive a complimentary flight to Toronto for the festival on Virgin America and winning Toronto residents will receive a flight to anywhere Virgin America flies.* For more, visit: www.virginamerica.com or www.facebook.com/virginamerica.

Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has experienced record–setting growth, won over millions of flyers with its innovative service and has made a consecutive sweep of the major reader–based travel awards including being voted “Best Domestic Airline” in the 2008 and 2009 Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards and in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards.  In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom–designed leather seats with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline’s First Class offers plush white leather seats with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers.  The carrier’s Main Cabin Select option offers 38–inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all–access pass to the Red in–flight entertainment system’s countless entertainment options, dedicated overhead bins and priority check–in/boarding.  Virgin America was the first airline in North America to offer WiFi on every flight as of May 2009 – and first announced its expansion to Toronto via Twitter – without the support of traditional advertising.

Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Toronto, Orlando (starting October 6, 2010), Dallas–Fort Worth (starting December 2010), Los Cabos (starting December 16, 2010) and Cancun (starting January 19, 2011).

#  #   #


Media Contact:  Katie Baynes (650) 762–7081 / katie.baynes@virginamerica.com

EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S. owned, controlled and operated airline.  It is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. 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 currently employs over 1600 people. The airline’s base of operations is San Francisco International Airport.  Virgin America offers in–flight internet service on every flight and hosts the largest in–flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the Red™ platform.  In addition to a 30–film library including foreign language films and Hollywood blockbusters, Red offers live TV, games, seat–to–seat chat, 3,000 MP3s, Google maps, the world’s first seatback digital Shop platform and more. In just three years flying, Virgin America was named “Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008 and 2009 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

 


* NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. For full contest rules and terms and conditions, visit: http://www.virginamerica.com/social-media/tiff/index.php

Toronto International Film Festival is a registered trademark of Toronto International Film Festival, Inc.