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Much Fanfare For PHL’s Newest Airline

Sir Richard Branson, flanked by Mayor Michael Nutter, other politicians and cheerleaders, introduces Philadelphia International Airport's newest airline. (Credit: John Ostapkovich)

Sir Richard Branson, flanked by Mayor Michael Nutter, other politicians and cheerleaders, introduces Philadelphia International Airport’s newest airline. (Credit: John Ostapkovich)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Wine, women and song greeted Philadelphia International Airport’s newest airline. KYW Newsradio‘s John Ostapkovich avoided two out of three to bring us this story.

There was no escaping the music from loudspeakers that drowned out the jet engines of the approaching Virgin America Airbus A320, with cheerleaders on the tarmac and bubbly back in the terminal.

Airline founder Sir Richard Branson says Virgin America is not yet five years old, but its roots go much deeper.

“It was about 25 years ago that I rang up Boeing and said ‘I’m thinking of starting an airline’ and the guy then said, ‘well, what did you say the name of your company was?’  I said, ‘Virgin.’  And he said, ‘with a name like that, nobody’s going to fly you.  Nobody’s going to think you go the whole way.'”

This flight arrived from LA. San Francisco service is being added next week. Virgin America is the airport’s first new carrier in eight years.

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