MIAMI — Few of us are fortunate enough to work for a company that values each individual as a family member. With the Alaska – Virgin America merger coming near completion, a Virgin America flight attendant took it upon herself to document the company’s culture, not knowing what may change once the brand is gone.
I’ve been following Molly’s Instagram account for several months while she has posted photos of the crews she has flown with on her trips. On her page, she had announced she was working on a project that captures the Virgin America culture. Her video (above) was posted to YouTube on Tuesday.
The Virgin American brand is expected to be gone by the end of 2019. Thus far, Alaska has said it will refit the interiors of the Airbus fleet to harmonize with the Alaska brand but plans to keep some of the popular Virgin touches such as the mood lighting. But to be fair, mood lighting isn’t unique to Airbus, as the newer Boeing 737s with Sky Interior also have a lighting system that can be changed in dozens of schemes.
The fleet rebranding has already begun. In December 2016, Alaska had a Boeing 737-900 (N493AS) repainted to a special merger livery that reads “More to Love.” There is also a new A321neo being painted the same way, prior to delivery in Hamburg.
Another A321neo was delivered all-white and had decals applied that read “Most West Coast,” featuring silhouettes of West Coast landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Space Needle. The colors on the plane match the Alaska livery, though there is no specific branding for either airline. Alaska has been desperately trying to claim more West Coast market share while battling Delta at its Seattle (SEA) hub.
According to planespotters.net, Virgin America currently has 67 aircraft in its fleet, including 10 Airbus A319, 53 Airbus A320, and 4 A321neo. Those planes will have to be repainted and modified at a brisk pace if the rebranding is to be completed within two years.