Virgin America as we know it is no longer

Doris Richards
January 12, 2018

Instead, pilots working for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines will fly under the same name - "Alaska" - which makes them officially a single airline in the eyes of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Until the full merger in April, the two airlines will maintain separate apps and websites, and passengers can book flights with either airline.

"This is a big moment for our company".

Alaska Air Group plans to begin using a single reservation system for Alaska and Virgin America on April 25, at which time it will move to having just one website and mobile app, and selling all flights under the Alaska brand. By 2019, Virgin America's name and logo will be retired entirely. "We greatly appreciate the assistance of the FAA, the Department of Transportation and other agencies as we accomplished this major milestone".

But the single operating certificate does mean regulators have been convinced that the two airlines' operating policies and procedures are now in alignment.

Alaska closed its $2.6 billion acquisition of Virgin America in December 2016.

In addition to the single certificate, Alaska on 1 January integrated Virgin's and Alaska's loyalty programmes and brought the airlines under a single payroll and benefits programme. "More than 10,500 frontline employees have been trained on the updated policies and procedures", Alaska said.

More than 110 staff from both carriers worked more than 70,000h to achieve the single operating certificate, reviewing some 39,000 pages of documents and 136 manuals and making some 1,500 policy changes, Alaska says. A new Airbus A321NEO originally intended for Virgin America has already entered service in traditional Alaska livery. Alaska Airlines said it expects to consolidate its operations control center in Seattle by March.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article