Virgin America and Virgin Blue Crew Exchange Takes Off: Blue Crew Land in America

Award-Winning Airlines Swap In-Flight Teammates in Unique Cultural Exchange Program

Dec 14, 2010, 11:00 ET from Virgin America

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin America, the California-based airline, announces it is welcoming Virgin Blue crew members to its award-winning in-flight team.  Earlier this year, the sister airlines teamed up to launch a unique cross-continental cultural exchange program – with six Virgin America in-flight teammates relocating to Australia to fly as part of Virgin Blue's in-flight crew.  This winter, three Virgin Blue cabin crew members make their in-flight debut at 35,000 feet along Virgin America's expanding North American routes.  The exchange enables in-flight teammates from either Virgin America or Virgin Blue to participate in a one-year cultural exchange program that allows them the opportunity to fly as cabin crew for their sister carrier, after fulfilling the intensive training courses required by each airline.  The goal of the program is to give each airline's guests the chance to learn more about the home country of the traveling teammates, while allowing those teammates to experience work and life in another country and at another Virgin-branded carrier.


"The Virgin crew exchange program offers both Virgin America and Virgin Blue in-flight team members the chance to grow personally and in their profession," said Frances Fiorillo, Senior Vice President of People and In-Flight Services at Virgin America.  "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience and learn from our distinct training modules, serve guests in different nations and personally grow – by learning to work with new teammates and adjust to a new culture.  The exchange will broaden our teammates' horizons and enrich their work experiences – and we hope will be a delight to our guests as well, as they learn more about Australian culture from our exchange teammates."

In order to be considered for the Exchange Program, Virgin in-flight team members were asked to submit a documentary style video which detailed their home region and nation and also what they hoped to bring to the U.S. as part of the cultural exchange.   Virgin America plans to upload the entertaining and informative videos to the Red™ in-flight entertainment platform onboard.  In addition, the airline is now featuring Australian wine selections in its Main Cabin and First Class service. 

Virgin America and Virgin Blue are separately owned and operated airlines, but both share the Virgin brand's commitment to value-based and innovative flying as well as progressive sustainability efforts.  The crew exchange is not the first time the two airlines have joined forces.  In August 2010, Virgin America and V Australia/Virgin Blue announced reciprocity between their frequent flyer programs – Elevate and Velocity, allowing guests to earn points when taking flights on the Virgin-branded airlines.  For details on earning Elevate points for V Australia and Virgin Blue flights, visit Virgin America's Web site. For complete details on earning Velocity points for Virgin America flights, visit Velocity's Web site

Since launching in August 2007, Virgin America has captured a list of industry best-in-class awards, including "Best Domestic Airline" in Conde Nast Traveler's 2008, 2009 and 2010 Readers' Choice Awards and  Travel + Leisure's 2008, 2009 and 2010 World's Best Awards as well as best-in-class in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Zagat Global Airline survey.  Virgin America won the "Best Cabin Staff in North America" award in the 2009 World Airline Awards.  The airline offers mood-lit cabins, power outlets near every seat and the Red in-flight entertainment system – the most advanced personal touch-screen entertainment platform in the skies. 

More information on the crew exchange, including photos, can be found on Virgin America's Facebook page at:

About Virgin America: Headquartered in California and launched in August 2007, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel, including in-flight internet service on every flight and the most advanced touch-screen entertainment platform in the skies. The airline's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport. In just three years flying, Virgin America has created 1,700 new jobs and has swept the major reader-based travel awards, including "Best Domestic Airline" in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008, 2009 and 2010 Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's 2008, 2009 and 2010 World's Best Awards.  For photos and more, visit:

SOURCE Virgin America