Since launching in August 2007, Virgin America has captured a host of travel industry awards, including: “Best Domestic Airline” by Condé Nast Traveller
for the past three consecutive years; “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure World’s
Best Awards, for the past four consecutive years.
A unique approach
Virgin America is committed to doing business in a way that is consistent with their values and those of their stakeholders. They have integrated a charitable component into everything they do, including using social media and their in-flight entertainment system to engage passengers in their efforts.
What do they support?
Virgin America support a variety of worthy causes and community organisations, including California State Parks Foundation. They are also an active member of local civic organisations, including the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the Bay Area Council and the California and San Francisco Chambers of Commerce.
Knowledge is Power Programme (KIPP):
This is a national network of free, open-enrolment, college-preparatory public schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life.
Fly Forward, Give Back
: Virgin America partnered with Twitter to raise funds for two consecutive years for charitable causes connected to their 24-hour “Fly Forward, Give Back” event. The campaign encouraged flyers to book a flight and tweet it. For every tweet, the company donated $5 per booking to Stand Up to Cancer and education-focused charities and non-profits.
Stand Up to Cancer
: Using their in-flight entertainment system Virgin America flight guests can donate to Stand Up to Cancer. When the airline launched their Chicago flights, they also used the opportunity to raise money for the charity.
People could vote or upload photos and videos online to receive a two-for-one offer on Chicago flights. For every entry Virgin America donated $5 to Stand Up To Cancer.
: This initiative aims to inspire students to seek answers to global challenges through science, engineering, math and business. This initiative aims to inspire students to seek answers to global challenges through science, engineering, math and business. Virgin America pilots and engineers serve as mentors in the programme. The company also helped launch Galactic Unite at the opening of its new terminal in October 2011.
Work with Virgin Unite
David Cush President and CEO, Virgin America, said:
“Virgin Unite takes a unique and collaborative approach to problem-solving. Although Virgin America is a young company, working with Virgin Unite has afforded us the unique opportunity to incorporate the group’s charitable campaigns in interesting ways within our fast-paced entrepreneurial culture.
“Specifically, in just a few years’ we’ve worked with Virgin Unite on a number of programmes, including: a Young Entrepreneurs project which included “plane pitch” sessions with prominent Silicon Valley frequent flyers and underserved young people in the process of launching their own businesses; and “Galactic Unite,” an initiative (with sister company Virgin Galactic) that aims to inspire students to achieve in science, engineering, maths and business. It is exciting and inspiring to see how we can work together to use business as a force for good.”
The launch event for Galactic Unite made aviation history. It included a Virgin America plane and space vehicles made by Virgin Galactic’s, WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo, landing on parallel runways at the new terminal. The event raised $385,000 for the initiative.
Knowledge is Power Programme (KIPP):
Malik, a KIPP student, flew for the very first time when Virgin America gave him and his classmates free flights to Washington D.C. for US President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Now, two years later, Malik’s dream is to be a commercial pilot. He attended the launch of Virgin America’s terminal two opening and watched from his Virgin America seat as Virgin Galactic’s space vehicles flew over the San Francisco bay. That kind of access – to meet the people who are passionate about their jobs, to see what is possible with one’s own eyes – is what brings dreams closer to reality.
Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship:
Aspiring young entrepreneur Darnell Skepple was invited by Sir Richard Branson to spend a week at Virgin America's office in San Francisco. Darnell was one of four students from NFTE invited to participate in the Virgin America launch of the service to Fort Lauderdale.