Port of Seattle welcomes Virgin Atlantic & Sir Richard Branson to Sea-Tac

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News Release Sea-Tac V04

March 27, 2017
Contact: Brian DeRoy | Sea-Tac Airport
(206) 787-4557 | DeRoy.B@portseattle.org

Port of Seattle welcomes new Virgin Atlantic service to London

Sir Richard Branson among those to personally welcome service that benefits business travelers and tourists alike

SEATTLE – The Port of Seattle welcomed Virgin Atlantic Airways to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport today with festivities to mark this new nonstop service to London. Virgin Atlantic Founder, Sir Richard Branson and airline CEO Craig Kreeger were among the special guests.

The daily Boeing 787-9 flight replaces 767 service by Delta Air Lines, who is a Joint Venture partner of Virgin Atlantic. The new flight option adds 50 more seats to London Heathrow, a boost to business and leisure travelers alike. London is Sea-Tac’s largest international market with multiple daily nonstop flights.

“It is an honor to welcome Sir Richard Branson and the dynamic Virgin Atlantic brand to the Pacific Northwest,” said John Creighton, Port of Seattle Commissioner. “This new service benefits the economies of both the U.K. and Pacific Northwest and are a testament to the growth in our region. The Port of Seattle and Sir Richard Branson have a special relationship in another way - working together with his Carbon War Room to explore more ways to promote the use of sustainable biofuels for air travel. Together, we look forward to continuing to make air travel more sustainable at Sea-Tac and at airports around the globe.”

virgin atlantic 787-9

“Seattle has long been on my list of cities to fly to and I’m delighted to launch this new service,” said Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic. “As the home to Microsoft, Amazon and of course Boeing, Seattle’s one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and as a mecca for entrepreneurs and innovators, it’s a perfect fit for the Virgin Atlantic brand.”

Branson by plane

Welcome to Sea-Tac Airport, Sir Richard!

Virgin Atlantic’s arrival is part of an exciting time which has made Sea-Tac the fastest growing U.S. large hub airport for the past three years. International traffic has increased 11 percent since 2015, with 24 international destinations served. Since 2007, 11 new airlines have come to Sea-Tac, including nine international carriers.

John Creighton & Sir Richard Branson

 Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton and Sir Richard Branson

The Port of Seattle is poised to welcome more international travelers with a new International Arrivals Facility. Construction is set to start later this year and the facility is scheduled to open in late 2019. The facility will double passenger capacity and reduce connection times. Gates capable of serving international wide body airplanes will increase from 12 to 20. Click here to read about all of the improvements coming soon to Sea-Tac.




About Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Operated by the Port of Seattle, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA, KSEA) is ranked as the 9th busiest U.S. airport, serving more than 45.7 million passengers and more than 366,000 metric tons of air cargo in 2016. With a regional economic impact of more than $16.3 billion in business revenue, Sea-Tac generates 171,796 jobs (109,924 direct jobs) representing over $2.8 billion in direct earnings and more than $565 million in state and local taxes.  Twenty-eight airlines serve 81 non-stop domestic and 24 international destinations.

About Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson 30 years ago and has since pioneered a range of innovations setting new standards of service. For example, Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to introduce the Premium Economy product, include a bar in every aircraft for Upper Class customers, offer seatback TVs on every seat in every cabin, develop a fully flatbed seat and fly a commercial aircraft on biofuels. Despite Virgin Atlantic’s growth, the service still remains customer driven with an emphasis on value for money, quality, fun and innovation.

Virgin Atlantic is a separate airline from Virgin America, with separate shareholders and ownership groups. Virgin Group is the majority shareholder of Virgin Atlantic, holding 51 percent, with Delta Air Lines holding 49 percent. The joint venture between Delta and Virgin Atlantic gives customers more options and a seamless service between the U.S. and U.K. Together, the airlines work to continuously evaluate their joint transatlantic network to match the right aircraft to the right destinations.