Three years after Alaska Airlines acquired Virgin America, the last remaining Airbus wearing the red and white Virgin livery is being repainted this week in Alaska’s cool blues.
Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America happened in 2016, but the company kept Virgin operating as a separate brand until about a year ago. Once it decided to combine the two brands, Virgin’s 71 Airbus jets had to be repainted in Alaska’s colors. The lengthy process has finally wound down to its final step, in the form of a Virgin America Airbus A321neo that is going under the brush this week. The next time anyone sees it, it will be an Alaska Airlines A321neo. But paint is only skin-deep.
Most of the passenger cabins in the Virgin fleet are still decked out in black leather, white plastic and purple mood lighting, which admittedly is getting a little tatty. But that’s changing, too.
At this time, 10 Virgin jets have been made over with new interiors, according to CEO Brad Tilden, who said in a recent SFGATE interview that the new interiors are getting positive reviews from regular fliers.
“We are doubling the number of first class seats, adding footrests, cup and iPad holders, larger overhead bins and much faster 2Ku gate-to-gate wi-fi to these planes,” he said, adding that the move will provide more opportunities for Alaska Mileage Plan members to snag upgrades.