Virgin America Airbus A320-214 (c/n 3465) N637VA "An Airplane Named Desire" taxies at San Francisco International Airport (SFO/KSFO) on September 6, 2008.
(Photo by Michael Carter)
Virgin America, the airline known for reinventing domestic travel, today announces it will start flying from San Francisco to Honolulu, Oahu from November 2, 2015, and Kahului, Maui from December 3, 2015, with fares on sale as of today from $199 one way* (with taxes and restrictions applying). As the only California-based airline, Virgin America will offer Bay Area travelers a fresh and upscale new travel option to the Aloha state, the ‘most wanted’ destination by members of its Elevate® loyalty program. Hawaii continues to be the number one tourism destination from the West Coast, with over 3.2 million visitors in 2014.
Virgin America's service is uniquely tailored to the modern traveler and to the longer-haul Hawai‘i flight experience. With new aircraft that offer three custom-designed classes of service, touch-screen personal entertainment and an award-winning on-demand food and cocktail menu on every flight – travelers departing from the stylish and convenient new Terminal Two at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) can kick-off their Hawai‘i vacation as soon as they step onboard. Virgin America has been named the “Best Domestic Airline” in both Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards and in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards for the past seven consecutive years.
“As one of the most popular leisure destinations among Bay Area travelers, we are pleased to announce our new nonstop service to Hawai‘i,” said Virgin America President and Chief Executive Officer, David Cush. “This marks the next phase of growth for our airline, as we take delivery of new Airbus aircraft and expand our Elevate program with more world-class rewards destinations.
With a loyal following of Bay Area-based business travelers who have long requested our expansion to the islands, we couldn’t be more pleased to offer our ‘work-hard/play-hard’ frequent flyers the opportunity to fly in style to the ultimate getaway. We look forward to bringing a new kind of flight service to the market and to building lasting community ties with the state of Hawai‘i.”
In a private call last month, Cush received permission from Hawai‘i Governor David Ige to bring Virgin America’s new flight service to the state.
“On behalf of the state, I would like to welcome Virgin America to Hawai‘i and congratulate the company on its new service to the Hawaiian Islands,” said Governor David Ige. “We are excited about the business and leisure travel opportunities the service will provide. We look forward to Virgin America’s success in serving both visitors to and residents of Hawai‘i.”
“We are pleased that Virgin America will launch inaugural service to Honolulu and Kahului this fall. These flights will boost air seat capacity to Hawai‘i from our core U.S. West market and attract new visitors through Virgin America’s vast flight network across the United States,” said David Uchiyama, Vice President, Brand Management of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the state’s tourism agency. “San Francisco is one of our top visitor markets and we look forward to welcoming Virgin America and its guests to the Hawaiian Islands. These flights will generate an estimated $138.6 million in annual visitor spending and $14.8 million in state tax revenue.”
Beginning November 2, 2015, Virgin America’s Honolulu service is as follows:
Beginning December 3, 2015, Virgin America’s Kahului-Maui service is as follows:
The daily, nonstop flights will be operated with new Airbus A320 aircraft that Virgin America will take delivery of this year, which will be equipped with fuel-saving, ‘sharklet’ wingtip devices, allowing the airline to operate flights more efficiently, especially over longer haul routes.
Virgin America is working with the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) and Airbus to ensure that the airline’s new Airbus A320 aircraft are certified for Extended Operation (ETOPS). ETOPS is the standard certification process carriers obtain for longer range over water flights.
In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, Virgin America's First Class cabin offers plush white leather ‘cradle sleeper’ seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier's Main Cabin Select service offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding.
The Red® in-flight entertainment platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with more than 20 films, TV***, interactive Google Maps, videogames, a 3,000 song library and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight. With a full service First Class menu and a unique on-demand menu in the Main Cabin, Virgin America was named Travel + Leisure’s “Best Domestic Airline for Food” in 2014.
(Virgin America Press Release)