On Wednesday, Alaska Airlines Group confirmed that the Virgin America brand will be retired in 2019.
Last summer, Tilden kept the hopes of Virgin America loyalists alive when he said Alaska Air was considering whether the Virgin America brand might live on after the merger.
However, for all devoted Virgin America lovers, Alaska promised it would keep close to all the flair that has accompanied flights on Virgin including all the inflight entertainment that is free, mood lighting as well as boarding music.
Throughout the opening stages of the merger, rumors circulated Alaska was toying with the idea of keeping the Virgin America brand flying, especially because of its remarkable success as such a young airline.
But Branson did lament the end of Virgin America, addressing the airline's many passengers directly in his letter.
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In a statement Tuesday, executives described a 10-month process of research among customers. "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". Over the last six months, Alaska Air Group, Inc.'s stock has been 42.84% and 15.02% for the year. The airline will also roll out new employee uniforms designed by fashion designer Luly Yang in mid-2019.
Finally, Alaska Airlines recently announced a major Bay Area expansion, NBC Bay Area reminds us, with 125 daily nonstop flights leaving San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco airports, including some new routes using Virgin's newer fleet of planes. The focus of this airline has been the hip, young business travelers that fly between LA and San Francisco, as well as to Washington DC and NY from the West Coast. The Business Times, meanwhile, mulls the fate of in-flight on-demand food and beverage service, a particularly crowd-pleasing amenity - and it's not like Alaska's fleet of older planes are suddenly going to get a whole lot nicer. I'm told some people at Virgin America are calling today "the day the music died". "I feel very lucky to have been on it with all of you", he wrote in a statement. Its Alaska Mainline segment operates the Boeing 737 part of Alaska's business.
Its jets made by Boeing will receive new cabins beginning in 2018 with new first class and economy seating. If you miss flying Virgin America, you still have your lovely sisters; Virgin Atlantic is starting service from London to Seattle next week, and Virgin Australia is starting direct service from Melbourne to Hong Kong the week after that.
Alaska said it is not making changes to its economy seats on the Virgin fleet, which now features screens for in-flight entertainment.
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