Published on : Monday, February 4, 2013
Virgin America, the airline that is reinventing domestic travel and the only airline headquartered in the Bay Area, announces it will bring its low-fare, upscale service to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) as of May 1, 2013, with tickets on sale February 5 for four daily roundtrip flights from SJC to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Virgin America’s principal base of operation is San Francisco International Airport (SFO), where it first launched service in August 2007. The addition of flight service to SJC will expand the airline’s presence in the greater Bay Area and bring new competition and economic growth to the region. Known for its low-fares and high-style guest service, the Burlingame-based airline has taken top honors as “Best U.S. Airline” in both Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure’s annual World’s Best Awards every year since its launch. With amenities like fleetwide WiFi, custom-designed leather seating, power outlets, personal touch-screen entertainment platforms, and new aircraft with three classes of service, Virgin America’s business-friendly flights will offer a fresh new option for San Jose travelers.
“San Jose International Airport is important for Silicon Valley business travelers and it deserves more flight options,” said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. “As an airline known for amenities that keep travelers connected and productive in the skies, we hope our flights can offer some healthy competition and a better choice for the Bay’s entrepreneurs and business travelers. We are appreciative of the efforts of Mayor Chuck Reed, Airport Director Bill Sherry and Carl Guardino from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, who were instrumental in making this happen and who had the vision and persistence to push for increased air service options for San Jose and the South Bay region.”
In five and a half years of flying, Virgin America has grown from three aircraft to a fleet of 52, with expansion to 19 destinations. The airline is now the second largest airline carrier at its home airport of SFO. In addition to the nonstop LAX service, the SJC network addition will also create convenient roundtrip connectivity between San Jose and Virgin America’s Boston, Philadelphia, Newark, Fort Lauderdale, Dallas-Fort Worth, New York City (JFK), Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando and Washington DC (IAD) destinations. Virgin America will be the first carrier to offer a First Class cabin on all SJC-LAX flights. The airline will operate out of SJC’s new Terminal A.
“We are grateful to Virgin America for bringing new air service to Silicon Valley,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. “As an innovator, Virgin America will find great support in the world’s center of innovation. Silicon Valley is leading the country in job creation, and Virgin America’s new service will support our job growth with convenient and efficient air service. We appreciate the confidence shown by David Cush and his team, and we are enthusiastic about working with them to support Virgin America’s investment at SJC.”
“We are delighted to welcome Virgin America as our newest airline partner and I’m confident they will receive a very warm welcome in San Jose,” said SJC’s Director of Aviation Bill Sherry. “Silicon Valley includes the world’s most tech-savvy frequent fliers who we know will love and embrace Virgin America’s unique product and branding; this is a winning combination.”
“Our member companies told us loud and clear that increasing air service options at SJC will directly help their businesses thrive. Our innovation-based economy here in the Valley is dependent on staying connected, so we couldn’t be more pleased that Virgin America has decided to offer new nonstop daily flights from SJC,” said Carl Guardino, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “With tech-forward service that is a unique reflection of the airline’s roots here in the Valley, Virgin America is a perfect fit for San Jose. Just as our regional economy has changed how people live and do business all over the world – our hometown airline has changed how people fly.”
Virgin America’s new fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft offers custom-designed mood-lit cabins and amenities like fleetwide WiFi, power outlets and personal entertainment – with live TV including MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and more – at every seat. The Red™ platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with 25 films, live TV, Google Maps, video games, seat-to-seat chat, music videos, a 4000 song library and an on-demand menu – so flyers can order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight. In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline’s First Class offers plush white leather seating 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 media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding. Last summer, Virgin America launched a suite of enhancements to its Elevate® frequent flyer program – including Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver status levels that offer perks such as: priority check-in, security clearance and boarding; points earning bonuses; free checked bag allowances; enhanced digital/social rewards; private discounts; an expanded advance purchase upgrade window for the airline’s exclusive eight-seat First Class; complimentary space-available upgrades to the carrier’s premium Main Cabin Select service; and complimentary access to the best seat assignments within Main Cabin. In December 2012, Virgin America opened its first airport lounge – the Virgin America Loft at LAX, which offers guests a sleek and modern retreat, with a selection of amenities and a space that reflects the look and feel of the airline’s mood-lit aircraft and overall design aesthetic.
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