9 NOVEMBER 2015
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San Francisco-based Virgin America celebrated the launch of its new service from its home airport to Honolulu last week with an Hawaiian-style send-off for the inaugural flight.
Passengers included Sir Richard Branson, Group Founder, and David Cush, President and CEO, Virgin America. Cush said: “This is a destination we’ve been interested in for quite a while. We wanted to make sure we had the right airplane in terms of capabilities to do it, and we do now.”
The flight was served by a new Airbus A320, named Pineapple Express by the airline’s staff. The arrival of the route means Virgin America now flies to nearly two dozen destinations and will launch a second Hawaii route from San Francisco to Kahului, Maui, on 3 December.
A South Korean airline will also enter the market next month, when Jin Air begins service from Incheon International Airport in Seoul to Honolulu.
Observers welcomed the new Virgin America service, noting that it marked the first time the airline is operating over-water aircraft – significant for future growth – and also that it provided competition for the traditional carriers, which meant fares were likely to fall. www.virginamerica.com
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franco mancassola, Honolulu, Hawaii
Well done Sir Richard!! Finally some true competition in the islands,