Economy

Alaska Airlines to ground Virgin America following takeover

Alaska Airlines to ground Virgin America following takeover

On Wednesday, Alaska Airlines Group confirmed that the Virgin America brand will be retired in 2019.

Seattle-based Alaska, which late a year ago completed its $4 billion acquisition of San Francisco-based Virgin America over the protests of founder Richard Branson, said the change will be made "likely sometime in 2019". Some of these include enhanced inflight entertainment, mood lighting, and the altogether different flying experience.

"We spent the last 10 months conducting extensive research and listening carefully to what fliers on the West Coast want most", Sangita Woerner, Alaska Airlines' Vice President of Marketing, said in a statement.

Alaska Airlines will axe the Virgin American brand and with it, Virgin's white leather business class seats - which are referred to as "first class" in USA parlance.

But while Alaska Air said it would sunset the Virgin America brand, it also detailed changes to come as the merger progresses.

Andrew Harrison, chief commercial officer of Alaska Airlines, said in an interview that dropping the Virgin America name was a "difficult decision". Despite the popularity of Virgin America, numerous experts of the industry agreed that it makes sense for Alaska airlines' parent company to combine the two airlines. Over the last six months, Alaska Air Group, Inc.'s stock has been 42.84% and 15.02% for the year.

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Branson finished off his letter with a goodbye to all of the Virgin America "Teammates" and a show of thanks for all they did for the airline in its almost 10-year history. despite the fact that the Virgin America livery will soon be grounded, Branson told of his certainty that the airline's legacy will continue to flourish. It'll also introduce new uniforms for front-line staff in 2019 designed by Luly Yang. Over the next two years, it will absorb Virgin's frequent-flier program into Alaska Mileage Plan. Alaska Airlines, which recently acquired Virgin America, announced Thursday that it will drop the Virgin brand name in 2019.

- It will expand lounges in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York JFK, doubling their square footage. Richard Branson's Virgin Group held 25 percent of the airline's equity. 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 feel very lucky to have been on it with all of you".

If there is one particular issue that Alaska Airlines is yet to address, it is the manufacturer of choice for its combined fleet in the future.

To give them credit, Alaska also says they'll add faster satellite WiFi and refreshed seats, which will help ease the transition.

Its jets made by Boeing will receive new cabins beginning in 2018 with new first class and economy seating. You would not believe the number of people who tell me how much they love flying Virgin America. Long live Virgin America.