Alaska, Virgin America Granted Single Operating Certificate
Alaska Airlines and Virgin America have received a single operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration as the integration of the carriers continues.
Alaska completed its takeover of Virgin America in December 2016 but said there would be no immediate differences for passengers flying with the two airlines after the award of the operating certificate.
One area that has already been completed is that of the Virgin America loyalty programme’s integration with Alaska’s Mileage Plan. The company has also moved to a single payroll and benefits programme for staff.
“This is a big moment for our company. We're now recognised as one airline in the eyes of the FAA,” the airline’s Ben Minicucci said. “We greatly appreciate the assistance of the FAA, the Department of Transportation and other agencies as we accomplished this major milestone.”
Currently, passengers still use Alaska and Virgin America’s separate mobile apps, websites and airport terminals, but with the move to a single reservations system in late April 2018, the airline expects to offer a more streamlined experience.