SAN FRANCISCO, April 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the only California-based airline, is partnering for the sixth consecutive year with the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) for its 16th Annual Earth Day to support vital environmental restoration and clean-up projects across the state. Virgin America teammates along with employees from Pacific Gas and Electric are pitching in today at San Francisco's Candlestick Point State Recreation Area to clean up the shoreline, plant trees, assemble picnic tables and landscape, to help restore and preserve the park. Virgin America teammates in other cities across the country also are participating in local environmental clean-up events in support of Earth Day throughout April. In addition to Virgin America's efforts on the ground, the airline was the first domestic airline to offer guests the ability to offset their carbon in-flight by using the Red™ seatback touch-screen entertainment system to make a donation to CSPF or to offset the carbon emissions of their flight via the nonprofit Carbonfund.org.
"As California's hometown airline, sustainability is important to our community, teammates and guests. We're proud to continue our partnership with the CSPF for the sixth consecutive year in an effort to protect and restore our state's natural resources," said David Cush, President and CEO of Virgin America.
Virgin America teammates' efforts at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area will help restore and improve the park's community garden and shoreline. Candlestick Point State Recreation Area is the state's first urban park and includes a community garden, open wildlife areas and other public spaces that support a better way of life in an underserved Bay Area neighborhood.
"Our continued partnership with Virgin America, an airline that has long supported environmental work, helps our efforts in maintaining our beautiful state parks," said Elizabeth Goldstein, President of California State Parks Foundation. "Not only are Virgin teammates helping us on the ground by volunteering, Virgin also helps us from 35,000 feet by providing an in-flight donation option on its entertainment platform. The innovative contributions of time and financial resources from Virgin America and its generous flyers really help us in our mission to restore and preserve California's natural treasures."
Virgin America's Earth Day efforts stretch across the nation, with teammate participation in clean-up and restoration projects in each of the airline's destination cities. Virgin America teammates are supporting clean-up efforts in locations including the Potomac River basin in Washington D.C., the Mystic River basin in Boston, Sunset Park in Las Vegas, the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia, and Baldwin Park in Orlando. Volunteers include members of Virgin America's Green Team – a teammate-led group focused on finding innovative ways across the airline's operations to reduce the company's footprint.
Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has made environmentally sustainable practices part of its training and operations. The carrier operates a fleet of 53 new Airbus A320-family aircraft that is up to 25% more CO2 efficient than the average U.S. fleet. The airline employs environmentally friendly practices, such as minimizing use of auxiliary power units, single-engine taxiing, electronic flight bags, idle reverse landings, utilizing advanced avionics to fly more efficiently and cost index flying — the practice of regulating speed to reduce fuel burn. In 2011, the airline became the anchor tenant at San Francisco International Airport's beautiful and sustainable Terminal 2 (T2) – the first major LEED® Gold-certified airport terminal in the U.S. Virgin America is making additional investments within its T2 spaces to ultimately achieve LEED® Platinum-certification.
Photos of Virgin America's unique aircraft: http://www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-photos/virgin-america-pictures.html
Broadcast quality video b-roll can also be downloaded at: http://www.virginamerica.com/about/airline-company.html
EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled and operated airline and is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.
About Virgin America: Headquartered in California, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. In just over five and a half years flying, Virgin America was named "Best Domestic Airline" in the Conde Nast Traveler 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 'Readers' Choice' Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 'World's Best' Awards. The airline's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport (SFO)'s sleek and sustainable new Terminal 2. The airline's new aircraft offer interactive in-flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat. Virgin America offers Gogo™ WiFi on every flight and hosts the largest in-flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the touch-screen Red™ platform. The airline flies to 20 destinations including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Washington D.C. (IAD), Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Portland, and Washington D.C.'s Reagan National (DCA). Later this spring, the California-based carrier launches service from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) on May 1, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) on May 21 and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) on June 6. For more: www.virginamerica.com
SOURCE Virgin America