Saturday, May 19, 2007

Virgin America Cleared for Take-Off!

Hopefully, this new airline...and their introductory prices, will help to bring costs of some flights down...especially transcontinental to L.A.! :D

Virgin America Cleared for Take-Off-- Airline Receives Final Approval to
Launch from Dept of Transportation --
Burlingame, Calif. (May 18, 2007) --

The Department of Transportation (DOT) today granted final approval for
Virgin America, a new low fare U.S. airline, to begin operations.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be cleared for take-off and for the
opportunity to serve San Francisco, the Bay Area, California, and the American
public,” said Virgin America CEO Fred Reid. “I applaud the DOT for approving our
application and fulfilling their long-standing commitment to competition and new
choices for travelers.”

In its final order, the DOT found that the company fully complied with
all requirements regarding fitness, U.S. citizenship requirements and control.
The DOT also acknowledged that this final approval had been contingent upon the
Company's acceptance of several additional conditions that were made public in
March when the DOT tentatively approved Virgin America’s application.

One of these additional conditions included a requirement for Mr Reid
to step down following launch. That condition will remain although he now will
be permitted to stay on as CEO for six months following airline

“This has been quite a journey but I’m truly happy that we will be able
to launch our airline. I plan to spend every minute of my time between now and
then supporting my 200-plus talented teammates in that endeavor,” said Mr Reid.
“When I said that this was never about one person, I meant it. Virgin America
has a wonderful team who will take this airline to great heights, bringing
exciting innovation and competition.”

Now that the company has been formally approved, the next step will be
to seek a waiver to start selling tickets. The company is planning a mid-summer
Virgin America’s first flights will be between its home base of San
Francisco (SFO) to New York (JFK). The airline also plans to serve Los Angeles
(LAX), Washington/Dulles, San Diego and Las Vegas within its first year of

The airline expects to serve as many as 10 cities within a year of
operation and up to 30 cities within five years of service. Additional cities
under Virgin America’s consideration include: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore,
Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort
Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas
City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, Orlando,
Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Providence, Portland, Ore., Raleigh-Durham,
Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Jose, Calif., Sarasota, Seattle,
St. Louis, Tampa and West Palm Beach