Sir Richard Branson and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking at San Fransisco Airport on Tuesday

Sir Richard Branson and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking at San Fransisco Airport on Tuesday (I was told that the guy to Branson's back-right is someone famous, I don't know...)

The last few days I have been surrounded by all things Virgin America while celebrating their first international route from San Fransisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX) to Toronto (YYZ). Tomorrow I will post about the fun stuff that happened, but first let’s talk about some interesting news Virgin America announced while at SFO on Tuesday: they are planning to fly into Mexico.

The send off in San Fransisco was quite the scene. There were decorations, food, pink champagne and a few security guards to protect the special guests.

Not only were many of Virgin America’s leadership there, including CEO David Cush, but also Virgin’s leader Sir Richard Branson, San Fransisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. They were all there to celebrate Virgin’s growth, new route to Toronto and creation of jobs in California and San Fransisco.

’œSan Francisco is proud to have Virgin America as its hometown airline,’ said Mayor Newsom. ’œOver the last few years, they’ve created hundred of new jobs, lowered fares and helped make SFO one of the nation’s few growing airports.’

Early on, Virgin America was excited to announce they are looking to fly into Mexico. The airline filed with the Department of Transportation on Tuesday to fly from SFO to Los Cabos and from LAX and SFO to Cancun. Virgin America hopes to start the flights this winter. The airline states after they get these flights up and running, they will concentrate more on creating more domestic routes.

“Today is a great day for airline competition, for our teammates and for travelers,” said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. “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.”

Virgin America is still a relatively new airline, starting operations in 2007. Although the airline wears the “Virgin” name, and is the brain-child of Sir Richard Branson, he only has a 25% stake in the airline. By law, no more than 25% of a U.S. airline may be owned by foreign interests. They provide low fares, but amazing amenities. They have the best domestic in-flight entertainment system I have experienced and have a very fun, party-like atmosphere on board their planes.

A bit more:
* Rough video I streamed live from my iPhone
* Video of Branson and Schwarzenegger on the flight from LAX to SFO

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
How a Billionaire Throws a Party – Virgin America’s Toronto Party
Jarvis Osborne

I thought they were founded in 2004 and started operations in 2007. Not founded in 1997?


That is what I get for talking to someone on the phone while typing out the blog :). They were founded in 2004 and started operations in 2007. I updated the blog. Thanks!


The famous person you mention in the photo is Singer/Songwriter, Ryan Cabrera. Duh!

Yea not quite sure who that is, but I will pretend he is someone impressive…

Looks like you had a fun trip David. Looking forward to your next post on the ‘fun stuff.’



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