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Virgin America begins nonstop flights between RDU and San Francisco

Virgin America’s first flight from Raleigh-Durham International Airport took off for San Francisco International Airport on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017.
Virgin America’s first flight from Raleigh-Durham International Airport took off for San Francisco International Airport on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. File photo by Ted S. Warren

The first Virgin America flight from Raleigh-Durham International Airport took off Friday, bound for San Francisco.

Virgin America, a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines, becomes the 10th commercial passenger carrier operating out of RDU. Its daily flights to and from San Francisco now mean RDU has three daily nonstops between the two cities. United Airlines has the other two.

About 300 people travel from RDU to San Francisco every day, according to airport spokesman Andrew Sawyer, but that does not include people who take a connecting flight through the city. Many of those who take the United flights make connections to Asia, Sawyer said.

The new RDU flight is part of a larger expansion by Alaska Airlines and Virgin America in the Bay Area, where the airlines are adding 13 new nonstop flights from San Francisco and Mineta San Jose International Airport.

Alaska Airlines began offering daily nonstop flights between RDU and Seattle in 2015.

Richard Stradling: 919-829-4739, @RStradling

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