Virgin America shows off its new state-of-the-art fleet

Virgin America offered a sneak peek of its fleet to Mayor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco International Airport officials Thursday morning, as many took their first look at the mood-lit cabin.

On the same day the airline started selling tickets for flights, local officials, as they had been for months, touted the airline’s economic benefits for the region while showcasing the much-trumpeted in-flight entertainment and dim, purple-tinged onboard lighting on the aircraft.

Newsom, while fiddling with the seat-back screens, noted that the airline would create more than 3,000 new jobs, according to his office’s estimations, and would drive fares down. But he warned that SFO will have to be prepared for a possible increase in delays from the new service.

The airline’s inaugural flights are scheduled to take off Aug. 8. Plans are also in the works to add Washington Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and San Diego International Airport to the list of destinations.

An apparent hacker attack slowed online ticket sales on Virgin America’s Web site, airline spokesman Gareth Edmondson Jones said.

tramroop@examiner.com

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