San Francisco "“ January 19, 2011 "“Virgin America, the California-based airline, today launches nonstop flights to Cancun International Airport (CUN) fromÂ Los AngelesÂ InternationalÂ AirportÂ (LAX).Â The airline known for high frills and low fares will also launch direct flights to CUN from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) starting January 20, 2011.
The launch marks the third international destination for the three-year old award-winning carrier and its 14th destination inÂ North America.Â For the airline's virgin voyage toÂ Cancun, Virgin America is teaming up with VH1 to host the first-ever mile-high episode of VH1's "Top 20 Video Countdown" onboard its inaugural flight.Â Under Virgin America's signature moodlighting, the first Cancun-bound commercial flight guests will get to party like pop stars and enjoy the airline's siesta-worthy leather seating, on-demand food and cocktails and personal touch-screen entertainment platforms.
"As an airline known for bringing some fun back to flying, it is only fitting we're teaming up with VH1 to kick off ourÂ CancunÂ route in high style," saidÂ David Cush, President and CEO of Virgin America.Â "We think flyers deserve to start their Mexican getaways as soon as they board their flight "“ and with the best in entertainment, beautiful cabins and outstanding service, we think travelers will agree that Virgin America is the perfect way to jump-start their Mexican vacation a few hours early."
With touch-screen entertainment at every seat, stylish design and guest-focused teammates, Virgin America has been growing and winning over travelers since its August 2007 launch.Â The airline offers the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies "“ with a special focus on music, in keeping with the Virgin brand's roots.Â The Redâ„¢ touch-screen entertainment system offers every guest hundreds of content options, including VH1's music video library, a 3,000 MP3 music catalog (and the ability for guests to build a custom play list in-flight), 30 films, live TV, videogames, seat-to-seat chat and even an on-demand menu "“ so guests can order a cocktail or meal right from their seatback touch-screen any time during a flight.
"The Virgin America brand is most welcome in Cancun, the number one leisure destination in Latin America and theÂ Caribbean.Â We in ASUR cannot think of a better match: Virgin America,Â CancunÂ and traveling in high style." said Alejandro Vales, ASUR Customer and Route Development Director.
To further celebrate the new route,Â Virgin America, VH1 and luxury all-inclusive resort Live Aqua have teamed up to offer three lucky VIPs the chance to win the ultimate getaway to Cancun.Â Winners will be treated to roundtrip flights on Virgin America and a three-day sensory experience for two at Live Aqua.Â Entry to the sweepstakes can be found atÂ www.countdowntocancun.comÂ now through February 9, 2011.
“VH1 connects music lovers to the artists they love "“ as well as to up and coming bands new to the scene,” said Tom Calderone, President, VH1. “Since 2007, our partnership with Virgin America has allowed us to connect fans to their favorite music even at 35,000 feet.Â From the soundtracks featured throughout the cabin to the breadth of their in-flight music catalog, it is obvious that music is a central component of the Virgin America experience "“ and we couldn't be more pleased to team up with the airline on their VH1 Top 20 'Countdown to Cancun' flight."
Filmed at 35,000 feet on Virgin America's first commercial flight from LAX to CUN, the "Countdown to Cancun" episode ofÂ VH1's "Top 20 Video Countdown"Â will first air on the network on January 29, 2011, at 9:00am ET.Â Grammy-nominated and multi-chart topping band Goo Goo Dolls will sit in first class with hostÂ Jim ShearerÂ and talk about their latest album "Something for the Rest of Us." The show will include additional special cameo appearances, including one by Virgin Group Founder and company "frontman" Sir Richard Branson. Additionally, as part of its ongoing partnership with VH1, Virgin AmericaÂ will name one of its new aircraft “Air VH1” later this year.
Virgin America's spicy low fares toÂ CancunÂ start from just $139, with restrictions, taxes and fees applying.
"We're excited to welcome Virgin America to the hottest spot in the Mexican Caribbean.Â Virgin America is offering an exceptional new, low-fare airline option for travelers headed toÂ Cancun's world-class resorts, beaches and attractions. We welcome Virgin American travelers to come and experience all that Cancun and the treasures of theÂ CaribbeanÂ have to offer," said Jesus Almaguer, Director of the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau.
With 335 rooms and 36 luxury suites, Live Aqua Cancun features endless privileges and heightens the guest experience by touching each of the five senses with unique design elements such as sensuous in-room aromatherapy menus, savory international cuisine, a world fusion spa and fitness center and stunning panoramic views of theÂ Caribbean Sea.
Since launching, Virgin America has captured a list of industry best-in-class awards, includingÂ “Best Domestic Airline" inÂ bothÂ CondÃ© Nast Traveler'sÂ 2008, 2009 and 2010 Readers' Choice AwardsÂ andÂ Travel + Leisure'sÂ 2008, 2009 and 2010 World's Best AwardsÂ as well as "Best-in-Class" in theÂ 2008, 2009 and 2010 Zagat Global Airline survey.Â Virgin America flies toÂ San Francisco,Â Los Angeles,Â New York, WashingtonÂ D.C.,Â Seattle,Â Las Vegas,Â San Diego,Â Boston,Â Fort Lauderdale,Â Toronto,Â Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, and as of today, Cancun.