Virgin America Appoints Donald J. Carty Chairman of its Board of Directors

Feb 06, 2006, 00:00 ET from Virgin America Inc.

    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.
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     "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 to learn more about joining the Virgin America
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SOURCE Virgin America Inc.