Virgin America kicks-off PDX service

Virgin America kicks-off PDX service

Portland Business Journal by Erik Siemers , Business Journal staff writer

Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 11:28am PDT

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Virgin America

Virgin Airlines on Tuesday began offering twice daily service to Portland International Airport from Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.

Virgin America on Tuesday is celebrating the kick-off of its new service to Portland International Airport.

The fast-growing San Francisco-based carrier announced in March that it would make Portland its 18th destination, with two daily nonstop flights from both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The first flight to Portland is expected to arrive at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

In honor of its maiden voyage, Virgin America launched a “We Put a Bird on Portland” fare sale including fares beginning at $135 for flights to L.A. and $94 to San Francisco.

“While there are strong business and leisure travel ties between California and Portland, the West Coast to PDX market generally has had higher fares than similar flights to Seattle. The reason, quite simply, was lack of competition on the California-PDX routes,” Virgin America President and CEO David Cush said in a news release. “With service unlike anything else in the skies, we saw an opportunity to bring new nonstop competition from California’s largest airports to PDX."

Guests on the first flight from San Francisco Tuesday will be received at a Portland-themed celebration at a hangar just off the PDX runway.

Also attending will be winners of a Facebook contest held by the airline and the IFC television network in which participants were asked to upload their favorite photos and “put a bird on it” — a nod to “Portlandia,” the popular Portland-centric sketch comedy that airs on IFC. Virgin America and IFC said they plan to continue the partnership this summer by offering guests an opportunity to win a walk-on role in season three of “Portlandia.”

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