Virgin America’s Colors Just Went Away Forever

May 26, 2019

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The last plane sporting the Virgin America livery is being repainted in Alaska Airlines colors, marking the final disappearance of the airline’s colors. Virgin America, founded in 2004, was bought by Alaska in 2016 and flew under its own brand until last year, but some of its aircraft had been left in their original colors.

The last aircraft in Alaska Airlines’ fleet painted in the Virgin America livery is currently at Victorville-Southern California Logistics Airport (VCV), where it will be painted in Alaska Air’s livery.

The final aircraft to feature the Virgin America livery is an Airbus A321neo bearing the registration N922VA. The aircraft was delivered in May 2017, originally operating transcontinental flights for Virgin America. The aircraft has since been incorporated into the Alaska Airlines fleet and no longer is used solely on transcontinental flights.

N922VA is seen in the image below landing at JFK in June 2017, arriving from San Francisco.Photo by Alberto Riva/TPGPhoto by Alberto Riva/TPG

Virgin America’s livery was inspired by that of Virgin Atlantic. Founded by Virgin Group’s Sir Richard Branson, the airline featured a color scheme and fuselage titles nearly identical to Virgin Atlantic’s, but distinguished by elements like the American flag on the winglets at the end of its planes’ wings.

For the past three years, Alaska Airlines had been in the process of repainting all of Virgin America’s  aircraft in its own colors.

Though Alaska Air has borrowed certain aspects of the Virgin America brand including fresher and healthier in-flight meals, brighter and more emphasized mood lighting, and newer lounges, most of the Virgin America brand has been retired. Following Virgin America’s final flight, Alaska Airlines was quick to remove Virgin America signage and integrate aircraft and crew into Alaska Air.

When the final aircraft to feature the red and white livery exits the hangar in Victorville, the only remaining signs of the defunct airline will be aboard former Virgin America aircraft that have not yet been retrofitted with Alaska Air’s new cabin.

Alaska Airlines plans on completing the process of retrofitting the cabins of those ex-Virgin Airbuses by early next year, giving Virgin America enthusiasts a little over six months to take in one last “breath of fresh airline,” as a 2011 advertising campaign said.

Featured image by Scott Varley/Digital First Media/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images

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