Alaska Airlines To ‘Retire’ Virgin America Brand

by Daniel McCarthy
Alaska Airlines To ‘Retire’ Virgin America Brand

Photo: Eddie Maloney


The Virgin America name and logo will be phased out of existence in 2019, Alaska Airlines announced in a statement today.

Alaska, which purchased Virgin America for $2.6 billion in December, said it will keep many of the Virgin brand elements, such as “enhanced in-flight entertainment, mood lighting, music and the relentless desire to make flying a different experience for guests.”

"While the Virgin America name is beloved to many, we concluded that to be successful on the West Coast we had to do so under one name - for consistency and efficiency, and to allow us to continue to deliver low fares,” vice president Sangita Woerner said in a statement.

Woerner said Virgin made the decision after 10 month of market research and gathering feedback from West Coast fliers.

CEO Brad Tilden said that in just three months since the Department of Justice approved the deal, Alaska has added 21 markets with 25 daily departures out of San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Jose. Over the next two years, it will absorb Virgin’s frequent-flier program into Alaska Mileage Plan.

Also:

- Beginning in fall 2018, Alaska will outfit its entire fleet of Boeing 737 passenger planes with satellite connectivity, with the rest of its Airbus fleet to follow.

- It will add more premium and first-class seats to its Airbus fleet starting in Q4 2018.

- It will expand lounges in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York JFK, doubling their square footage.

- It will add West Coast-inspired craft brews, wines and food option, as well as free movies, complimentary upgrades, and complimentary WiFi for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and iMessage.

Alaska originally agreed to buy Virgin in April, after a bidding war with JetBlue that drove up the price. The approval from the DOJ came with a stipulation that Alaska trim its code-sharing agreement that allows it to sell American Airlines tickets.  

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