BURLINGAME, Calif., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America Inc., a new U.S-
based airline start-up company, announced today that Donald J. Carty has been
appointed as the company's chairman by VAI Partners LLC, an investment group
funded by U.S. investment firms Black Canyon Capital and Cyrus Capital
Partners and the company's controlling shareholder. Carty, the former chairman
and CEO of AMR Corp. -- the parent company of American Airlines, Inc. -- also
will become an investor in VAI Partners, which owns 75 percent of the equity
of the airline.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20051208/DCTH040LOGO-c )
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060206/DCM029 )
"Don Carty shares our confidence in Virgin America's founding team and
their ability to develop a modern, self-sustaining new generation airline,"
said Mark Lanigan, 45, a managing director of U.S.-based Black Canyon Capital.
Carty will join Lanigan on the board and assume his role as chairman.
"I am very enthusiastic about being part of this exciting airline project.
The quality of the business plan, the credentials of the management team, the
commitment of its investors plus the unique value of the Virgin brand create a
very compelling business opportunity," said Carty, 59. "The airline industry
in the United States is in need of profound restructuring and rebuilding of
consumer confidence, and I am convinced that Virgin America will be a critical
factor in its evolution."
"We look forward to benefiting from Don's vast experience as we build an
innovative airline based on safe and efficient operations, low costs, great
customer service, and a unique level of engagement with our employees," added
Fred Reid, 55, CEO -- Virgin America. "I've known Don for many years, and he
knows the airline business. We feel fortunate to have someone with his
expertise as our chairman."
Carty was chairman and CEO of AMR Corp., from 1998 to April 2003. From
1995 to 1998, he was president of American Airlines. Carty held other
executive level positions with AMR, American Airlines or their subsidiaries
from 1978 to 1985 and from 1987 to 1995. Carty is a graduate of Queen's
University in Kingston, Ontario, and of the Harvard Graduate School of
Business Administration. He joined Air Canada after graduate school and then
had a seven-year run at American, from 1978 to 1985, before becoming president
and CEO of Canadian Pacific Airlines.
Carty has been a member of the board of directors of Hawaiian Airlines
since July 2004 and also serves as chairman of Porter Airlines, Inc. in
Canada. Carty also is a director of Dell, Inc., Sears Holding Corp., Placer
Dome, Inc., CHC Helicopter Corp. and Solution Inc. LTD, as well as chairman of
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
About Virgin America
Owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, Virgin America intends to launch
domestic U.S. scheduled airline service utilizing new Airbus A320 family
aircraft beginning in 2006. The company has announced agreements to take firm
deliveries of 34 A320 family aircraft including 19 purchased aircraft from
Airbus and 15 leased aircraft from GE Capital Aviation Services.
Virgin America's corporate headquarters is in the San Francisco Bay Area,
and its principal base of operations is at the San Francisco International
Airport. Virgin America's goal is to build an innovative, creative travel
brand based on safe and efficient operations, low costs, outstanding guest
service, and a unique level of engagement by its team. Its mission is to
create an airline people love. Aspiring candidates can visit
http://www.virginamerica.com to learn more about joining the Virgin America
Stacy Geagan Holly Arthur
917-406-0977 cell 202-289-4001 office
(Non-media inquiries, please call 650-373-2000)
SOURCE Virgin America Inc.