Virgin America to Spread Its Wings to Orlando, Toronto

Marc Smith, flickr

Virgin America announced new daily service to Orlando and the intent to fly daily to Toronto this summer from both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In a press release issued today, the airline also announced the addition of six planes to its fleet this year, with three scheduled to debut in the beginning of 2011 -- expanding the airline's roster by almost one-third.

"Both cities are major travel destinations from the West Coast, and we're looking forward to introducing our service to travelers in these and other new markets in 2010 and beyond," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush.

Steve Gardner, Executive Director of Orlando International Airport said he was pleased that Virgin America chose Orlando.

"The nonstop service to and from Los Angeles and San Francisco will offer new options and low fares," Gardner said in the press release.

Nonstop daily flights to Orlando will begin August 19th. Fares from Los Angeles to Orlando will start at $149, while flights from San Francisco to Orlando will begin at $199. Tickets are available on Virgin America's website, or by phone at 1-877-FLY-VIRGIN (1-877-359-8474). The airline charges $25 for each checked bag.

Service to Toronto is scheduled to begin as early as June 2010, pending the approval of the airline's application with the U.S. Department of Transportation, which seeks authority to fly from the United States to Canada. This will be the first international destination for the airline, who plans to offer one daily flight and one daily through flight to Toronto from both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Virgin America also announced they're planning for "at least three more new destinations in 2010." The airline, launched in 2007, was voted "Best Domestic Airline" in Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards.

Currently, Virgin America operates 28 Airbus A320s that shuttle passengers up and down the West Coast, to Las Vegas, and to four cities along the East Coast -- Boston, Washington DC, New York, and Fort Lauderdale.

The airline differentiates itself by featuring mood lighting, wide seats, and personal in-flight entertainment on customizable seatback touch-screen monitors. Next Wednesday, Fly Girls, a reality TV show chronicling the lives of five Virgin America flight attendants will debut on the CW network at 9:30 p.m. EST. Notoriously adventurous business mogul Richard Branson's Virgin Group is a minority share investor in the airline.
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