January 10th is the last day Virgin America will operate as an independent carrier. The San Francisco-based airline was launched in August 2007 as a full-service carrier, featuring mood-lighting, and in-flight entertainment in every seat. Virgin America has won awards such as the 2015 Skytrax World Airline Award for “Best Airline In North America,” and the “#1 U.S. Airline” from 2013 to 2016 by the Airline Quality Rating report.
According to a blog post by Alaska Airlines, the Seattle-based airline is taking advantage of its December 2016 purchase of Virgin America by refreshing its own brand image. All Virgin America branding will be retired by 2019, and Alaska Airlines aircraft will feature blue mood lighting, a modernized cabin, high-speed satellite-based onboard Wi-Fi, and more premium seats. In-flight entertainment will be provided via a streaming service to computers and mobile devices. The airline will also build new lounges in San Francisco International Airport and JFK Airport in New York, as well as new company uniforms by 2019.
The airline used the callsign “Redwood” for air traffic communications as a nod to
their red branding, and the species of tall evergreen tree that grows natively near its headquarters in Burlingame, California. As of January 11th, flights on Virgin America’s fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft will use the “Alaska” callsign on radio communications.