Lunardini said the airline will employ a San Diego staff of 25 by the time it launches here in February, and plans to expand in coming years.
The fledgling airline has raised more than $300 million from investors. Several major U.S. airlines, including American, Delta and Continental, initially tried to block Virgin America from entering the market.
By law, no more than 25 percent of a U.S. airline may be owned by foreign interests, and the airline must be under the actual control of U.S. citizens.
VAI Partners, composed of investments from Black Canyon Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners, owns 75 percent of the capital stock, while 25 percent is owned by Branson's Virgin Group, which controls the British-based Virgin Atlantic airline.
Headquarters: San Francisco International Airport
Cities served: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York (JFK), Washington (Dulles)
Launched: Aug. 8
San Diego service starts: Feb. 12
Features: Mood lighting; leather seats; entertainment system that allows passengers to order food, watch one of 25 movies or satellite television, play video games or send instant messages to other passengers
Background: Majority-owned by U.S. investors, with minority stake held by Carola Holdings, an entity affiliated with Richard Branson's Virgin Group, parent of the Virgin Atlantic trans-Atlantic carrier
Discounts coincide with arrival of Virgin America
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the California-based airline that is reinventing domestic travel, today expands to the tenth destination in its growing network - South...
SAN FRANCISCO, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the California-based airline, today marks the launch of its first international city and sets it sight on its next destinations. Today, the...
The Nation; Virgin America to tackle L.A.-S.F.; With five daily round trips starting Aug. 8, lower fares may follow.
In a move that could trigger lower fares on one of the nation's busiest routes, a new airline inspired by British billionaire Richard Branson is making Los Angeles one of its first stops...