Virgin America begins flying from San Francisco to Kahului, Maui with connecting flights from most Virgin America markets. As the only California-based airline, Virgin America will offer Bay Area travelers a fresh and upscale new travel option to Maui. The airline launched service to Honolulu, Hawaii last month. Hawaii continues to be the number one tourism destination from the West Coast, with over 3.3 million visitors in 20141. Virgin America’s service is uniquely tailored to the modern traveler and to the longer-haul Hawaii 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 Hawaii vacation as soon as they step onboard. Virgin America has been named the “Best Domestic Airline” in both Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards and in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for the past eight consecutive years.
“As Hawaii is one of the most popular leisure destinations among Bay Area travelers, we are thrilled to begin our nonstop flights to Maui today on the heels of our launch to Honolulu just last month – and continue the expansion of world class destinations we fly to,” said John MacLeod, Senior Vice President of Sales and Planning at Virgin America.
“The additional air seats Virgin America is providing with its new nonstop service from San Francisco makes Maui even more enticing to Bay Area residents,” said George Szigeti, President and CEO at Hawaii Tourism Authority. “Travelers will enjoy the convenient, quality service and Maui’s visitor industry will benefit from being part of Virgin America’s nationwide network.”
“Virgin America and Maui are a perfect travel combination that residents throughout the San Francisco Bay Area will love when making their vacation escape. We are excited to have one of the nation’s top-ranked airlines flying to our island paradise, which is annually honored as one of the best destinations in the world,” added Terryl Vencl, Executive Director, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau.
In November, Virgin America launched daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to Honolulu with a series of festive events – including the opportunity for workaholics to score the ultimate “Hawaiiscape” with Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson. Virgin America partnered with community-driven hospitality company Airbnb to surprise a lucky worker in San Francisco with the chance to join the inaugural Honolulu flight. Upon touchdown of the first flight in Hawaii, Virgin America’s first guests was be feted with a red carpet lu’au reception on the Honolulu tarmac – with a traditional Hawaiian welcome and blessing hosted by Governor David Ige, George Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, and HNL airport officials. Later that evening, Branson and Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall hosted an oceanfront sunset event at an Airbnb property, the notable Paul Mitchell Estate on O’ahu, with community partners, and special guests like professional surfer Alana Blanchard, kiteboarder and Zozi Guru Susi Mai. Photos from the day’s events can be found here.
The daily, nonstop flights will be operated with new Airbus A320 aircraft that Virgin America has taken delivery of this year, which are equipped with fuel-saving, ‘sharklet’ wingtip devices, allowing the airline to operate flights more efficiently, especially over longer haul routes.
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.
Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has created more than 2,800 new jobs and expanded its network to include Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark, New York (JFK and LGA), Orlando, Palm Springs (seasonal), Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Honolulu and Kahului, Maui.