Virgin America Goes International: California's Airline Toasts New Toronto
Flights, Sets Sight on Next Routes


    
    Sir Richard Branson & Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Take to the Skies to
    Christen Flight, Mark Airline's Sustainable Growth

    Hip Hop Juggernaut and Toronto Native Drake Hosts Mile High Party for
    Guests En Route to Toronto





    
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<p><span class="xn-location">SAN FRANCISCO</span>, <span class="xn-chron">June 29</span> /CNW/ -- Virgin America, the California-based airline, today marks the launch of its first international city and sets it sight on its next destinations. Today, the airline toasts its new <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> service on a celebrated flight from <span class="xn-location">Los Angeles</span> International Airport (LAX) through <span class="xn-location">San Francisco</span> International Airport (SFO) to <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> Pearson International Airport (YYZ).  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joins Virgin Group Founder <span class="xn-person">Sir Richard Branson</span> onboard the LAX to SFO leg, and via WiFi at 35,000 feet over the California coast, they announce the airline's intent to serve a new destination: <span class="xn-location">Mexico</span>. Upon touchdown, San Francisco <span class="xn-person">Mayor Gavin Newsom</span> will welcome <span class="xn-person">Sir Richard</span>, the Governor and other guests.  The SFO to YYZ flight then will continue on to cross the border in style with Drake, the <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> native and Grammy nominated recording artist, hosting a mile high party en route.</p>
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    (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100629/AQ28144-a)
    (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100629/AQ28144-a)

    (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100629/AQ28144-b)
    (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100629/AQ28144-b)

    (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090123/VIRGINAMERICALOGO)
    (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090123/VIRGINAMERICALOGO)

    
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<p>Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America  has made sustainable practices a core part of its business model and has experienced record-setting growth along the way - with 1,600 new jobs created, eight million guests flown and a sweep of the major awards, including "Best Domestic Airline" in Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure's  World's Best Awards. Virgin America's low-fare, high-tech service injects new competition into the Canadian market with daily flights* from both SFO and LAX to YYZ. Today, the airline announces its intent to launch flights from SFO to <span class="xn-location">San Jose</span> del Cabo (SJD), SFO to Cancun International Airport (CUN) and LAX to CUN.  The airline today files with the U.S. Department of Transportation for authority to begin flying to <span class="xn-location">Mexico</span> this winter.</p>
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<p>"Today is a great day for airline competition, for our teammates and for travelers," said Virgin <span class="xn-person">America President</span> and CEO <span class="xn-person">David Cush</span>. "When more airlines compete, consumers win with lower fares and better service.  At a time when most airlines are contracting and consumers expect less and less, we're proud to be growing, operating responsibly and offering travelers a very different kind of flight experience."</p>
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<p>Virgin America is now poised for major growth, with the launch of five new destinations in 2010, a fleet growth of close to two-thirds projected by <span class="xn-chron">Dec. 2011</span> and plans to double its teammate base by 2012. In addition to creating jobs, lowering fares and improving service, the airline leads the industry on sustainability. Virgin America's investment in new aircraft and consistent use of sustainable practices on the ground and in the air, make it one of the most carbon efficient airlines - with a fleet that is up to 25 percent more efficient than the U.S. average.  Virgin America was the first U.S. airline to list its footprint via globally-recognized standards and to offer guests the ability to offset their travel in-flight. Virgin America's focus on sustainability has also helped streamline the airline's costs. The airline remains a strong supporter of AB 32, California's historic climate change legislation.</p>
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<p>"It is no surprise that the only airline headquartered in California is harnessing the best in technology and design to change how people fly. Virgin America has not only reinvented the in-flight experience, they are in step with California's nation-leading green policies and are leading the way to reduce their carbon footprint," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "Their growth reflects the entrepreneurial spirit of our state and again proves that sustainable practices can improve the bottom line and create jobs. I am thrilled to be a part of Virgin America's first international flight and look forward to their continued expansion."</p>
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<p>Virgin America's headquarters are LEED certified and its new home at SFO's Terminal Two will be LEED certified as well.  Virgin America operates one of the youngest fleets in <span class="xn-location">North America</span> and its mood-lit, custom-designed cabins feature the Red(TM) entertainment system, the most advanced in-flight entertainment platform in the skies.  The Red system's touch-screen offers 20 films, live TV, Google Maps, an MP3 library, videogames, an on-demand menu that allows guests to order at their seat, and even select Carbonfund.org offsets.  In 2009, the airline became the first to offer WiFi fleetwide.</p>
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<p>"<span class="xn-location">San Francisco</span> is proud to have Virgin America as its hometown airline," said <span class="xn-person">Mayor Newsom</span>. "Since 2007, they have created hundreds of jobs, lowered fares and helped make SFO one of the nation's few growing airports."</p>
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<p>Upon touchdown in <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span>, the Airbus A320 aircraft, "Air Drake," will make a splashy entrance into <span class="xn-location">Canada</span> with a water cannon salute, an international welcoming committee and a red carpet party on the arrival tarmac.  Flight guests and Torontonians will be feted later this evening, as Virgin America takes over the trendy new spot to see and be seen - The Thompson <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> - for a launch party that may just cause an international incident.</p>
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<p>"Virgin America is adding direct connections between California and <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> and doing it in style", added Lloyd McCoomb, President and CEO of the Greater <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> Airports Authority.  "We are thrilled to welcome another airline to <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> and look forward to working with Virgin America.  The connections between <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span>, <span class="xn-location">San Francisco</span> and <span class="xn-location">Los Angeles</span> make perfect sense, and it is wonderful to have Virgin America connecting our great cities."</p>
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<p>In addition to being a good time, the <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> launch will help do some good:  by raising funds for Virgin Unite and mentoring some aspiring entrepreneurs along the way - literally.  <span class="xn-person">Sir Richard</span>, <span class="xn-person">Eric Ryan</span> (Co-Founder of eco-friendly cleaning product company Method), Jason Pomeranc (Thompson Hotel Group Founder) and other outside-the-box business leaders, will host "airplane pitch" sessions with young entrepreneurs en route from SFO to YYZ.  Also today, Virgin America kicks off its search for the "Virgin America <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> Provocateur" who is Virgin enough to represent the airline in <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span>.  For every entry, the airline will raise funds for Virgin Unite's Young Entrepreneurs, which provides training and seed funds to disadvantaged young people.</p>
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<p>"Trade, travel, and innovation are keys to one of the closest bilateral relationships in history, and more connections mean more prosperity," said U.S. Consul General <span class="xn-person">Kevin Johnson</span>, who helps welcome the Virgin America flight to <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> today.  "Vibrant, diverse, and already a gateway to much of the U.S. and the world, <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> and Ontario are natural partners for California, where ideas and dreams are born."</p>
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<p>Virgin America's <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> service began on <span class="xn-chron">June 23</span>, however the celebratory first flight occurs today due to G8/G20 summit events.  Virgin America flies to <span class="xn-location">San Francisco</span>, <span class="xn-location">Los Angeles</span>, New York, Washington D.C., <span class="xn-location">Seattle</span>, <span class="xn-location">Las Vegas</span>, <span class="xn-location">San Diego</span>, <span class="xn-location">Boston</span>, <span class="xn-location">Fort Lauderdale</span>, <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span>, and starting in the fall of 2010 - <span class="xn-location">Orlando</span>.</p>
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<p>Virgin America's <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span> Main Cabin fares start at $178 USD**/<span class="xn-money">$174</span> CAD*** (SFO-YYZ) and $187 USD**/<span class="xn-money">$182</span> CAD*** (LAX-YYZ).</p>
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<p>EDITORS NOTE:  Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled, owned and operated airline.  It is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic.  <span class="xn-person">Sir Richard Branson</span>'s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.</p>
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<p>About Virgin America:  Headquartered in California and launched in 2007, Virgin America is one of the fastest growing start-up airlines of all time.  Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel, including in-flight internet service on every flight and the most advanced touch-screen entertainment platform in the skies.  As a brand new carrier and the only airline based in California, Virgin America has made environmentally sustainable practices part of its training and operations from day one, including employing practices such as single engine taxiing, maximizing use of efficient ground power, utilizing advanced avionics to fly more efficiently, and cost index flying - the practice of regulating cruising speeds to reduce fuel burn.  The airline has worked with Carbonfund.org to select offset projects that focus on U.S. based carbon emissions reductions and that are independently validated and verified.  The airline has initiated recycling pilot initiatives and currently recycles in-flight waste from 47 percent of its flights. Virgin Group reinvests all profits from Virgin-transport related businesses to renewable fuels research and other initiatives that combat climate change.  For more, including the airline's annual Climate Report, visit: <a href="http://www.virginamerica.com">www.virginamerica.com</a>.</p>
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    * The airline's Toronto schedule includes:
    --  SFO-YYZ: one nonstop daily flight and one daily through flight
    --  YYZ-SFO: one nonstop daily flight and one daily through flight
    --  LAX-YYZ: one nonstop daily flight and one daily through flight
    --  YYZ-LAX: one nonstop daily flight and one daily through flight

    
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<p>** USD Terms and Conditions: All Main Cabin fares are one-way, based on travel originating from <span class="xn-location">United States</span>, and require purchase at least 7 days in advance of travel. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Tickets must be purchased by <span class="xn-chron">11:59pm PDT</span> <span class="xn-chron">July 6, 2010</span>. Travel must occur between <span class="xn-chron">July 6, 2010</span> and <span class="xn-chron">November 17, 2010</span>.  Fares are for travel on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; higher sale fares are available for travel on other days. Blackout dates are <span class="xn-chron">September 3, 2010</span>, and <span class="xn-chron">September 6, 2010</span>. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Flight may not operate daily during off-peak periods. Changes or cancellations can be made for a <span class="xn-money">$75</span> fee if changes are made on Virgin America's website (<a href="http://www.virginamerica.com">www.virginamerica.com</a>) or a <span class="xn-money">$100</span> fee through all other channels, including the call center and at the airport, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Changes or cancellations of a booking made with Elevate Points will be subject to a <span class="xn-money">$75</span> redeposit fee. Guests who no-show without a change or cancel prior to the scheduled departure time will forfeit the amount of this fare. In addition, any future flights booked in the same reservation will also be canceled and the fare will be forfeited. Tickets purchased in the U.S. from Virgin America through our reservation call center will cost an additional <span class="xn-money">$15</span> per guest per itinerary. Any added cost associated with purchasing tickets from Virgin America through our reservation call center will be non-refundable. Fares do not include Passenger Facility Charges of up to <span class="xn-money">$9</span> each way, <span class="xn-chron">September 11th</span> Security Fees of up to <span class="xn-money">$5</span> each way and a Federal Segment Tax of <span class="xn-money">$3.70</span> per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. Fares shown are in USD and are valid for travel originating in the U.S. For service to and from <span class="xn-location">Canada</span>, fares do not include the U.S. Immigration User Fee of <span class="xn-money">$7</span>, U.S. APHIS fee of <span class="xn-money">$5</span>, and additional taxes/fees of up to <span class="xn-money">$50</span>, including: Harmonized Sales Tax, Airport Improvement Fee, Canadian Security Fee, and Goods and Services Tax. Bookings made with Canadian point of purchase are subject to a <span class="xn-money">$16.10</span> International Arrival/Departure tax, each way. Fares will not be honored retroactively or in exchange for any wholly or partially used ticket. Fares, routes, fees and schedules are subject to change without notice. Virgin America will accept one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 70 pounds for <span class="xn-money">$25</span> for each ticketed guest. The fee per guest for each additional checked bag up to 50 pounds from the second (2) to the tenth (10) is <span class="xn-money">$25</span>. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply.</p>
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<p>*** CAD terms and conditions: All Main Cabin fares are one-way and require purchase at least 7 days in advance of travel. Fares shown above are in CAD, based on travel originating from <span class="xn-location">Toronto</span>, and are only available for purchase by calling 1-877-Fly-Virgin (1-877-359-8474). Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Tickets must be purchased by <span class="xn-chron">11:59pm PDT</span> <span class="xn-chron">July 6, 2010</span>. Travel must occur between <span class="xn-chron">July 6, 2010</span> and <span class="xn-chron">November 17, 2010</span>. Fares are for travel on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; higher sale fares are available for travel on other days. Blackout dates are <span class="xn-chron">September 3, 2010</span> and <span class="xn-chron">September 6, 2010</span>. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Flights may not operate daily during off-peak periods. Changes or cancellations can be made for a <span class="xn-money">$75</span> CAD/USD fee, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Changes or cancellations of a booking made with Elevate Points will be subject to a <span class="xn-money">$75</span> CAD/USD redeposit fee. Guests who no-show for their flight without changing or canceling their itinerary prior to the scheduled departure time will forfeit the amount of this fare. In addition, any future flights booked in the same reservation will also be canceled and that fare will be forfeited as well. Fares do not include Passenger Facility Charges of up to <span class="xn-money">$9 USD</span> each way, the U.S. <span class="xn-chron">September 11th</span> Security Fees of up to <span class="xn-money">$5 USD</span> each way and a U.S. Federal Segment Tax of <span class="xn-money">$3.70 USD</span> per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. Bookings made with Canadian point of purchase are subject to a U.S. International Transportation tax of <span class="xn-money">$16.10 USD</span> each way. For service to and from <span class="xn-location">Canada</span>, fares do not include the U.S. Immigration User Fee of <span class="xn-money">$7 USD</span>, U.S. APHIS fee of <span class="xn-money">$5 USD</span>, and additional taxes/fees of up to <span class="xn-money">$50</span> CAD, including: Airport Improvement Fee, Canadian Security Fee, Goods and Services Tax, and Harmonized Sales Tax. Fares will not be honored retroactively or in exchange for any wholly or partially used ticket.  Fares, routes, fees and schedules are subject to change without notice. Virgin America will accept one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 70 pounds for <span class="xn-money">$25</span> CAD/USD for each ticketed guest. The fee per guest for each additional checked bag up to 50 pounds from the second (2) to the tenth (10) is <span class="xn-money">$25</span> CAD/USD. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply.</p>
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For further information: For further information: Abby Lunardini of Virgin America, +1-650-533-7576, abby.lunardini@virginamerica.com Web Site: http://www.virginamerica.com

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