Virgin America to Offer EchoStar's DISH Network

Virgin America, a new startup airline has partnered with EchoStar Communications Corp. to provide the airline's primary live in-flight satellite entertainment.

Under the agreement Virgin America passengers will be able to view an array of EchoStar's DISH Network satellite TV programming. In addition to live DISH Network satellite TV, the airline will offer customers 'pay-per-view' movies, a wide array of audio music entertainment including the ability to compile individual audio playlists, a broad selection of popular electronic games, and even meals on-demand.

The U.S.-owned and operated airline is based at San Francisco International Airport and intends to launch scheduled domestic airline service in spring 2007 upon government approval.

"Once the Department of Transportation says we can fly, we'll be ready to offer our guests an incredible entertainment experience and DISH Network is a major component of that," said Charles Ogilvie, Virgin America's director of Inflight Entertainment and Partnerships. "Our interactive entertainment system is more than just a channel lineup in which our guests will immerse themselves. We believe they'll find it to be an exciting, customer-friendly experience overall."

Virgin America has placed firm orders for 34 Airbus A320 aircraft and said it anticipates announcing additional IFE team members, content relationships and strategic partners in the near future.