Throwback Thursday – remembering our first flight to San Francisco

Richard Branson at Alcatraz

Richard Branson at Alcatraz

Earlier this week we started the first services from Manchester to San Francisco – the Man-Fran. For Throwback Thursday we’re looking back on our first San Francisco celebration in 1994, when our love affair with this wonderful city began.

On arrival into San Francisco a press photocall at Alcatraz not only involved Richard wearing a convict’s outfit, it also saw him flee in a staged escape by means of a parasail and a speedboat.

At the time Richard said, “San Francisco was always on our list of great cities of the world that we wanted to fly to, so it’s a very proud moment for the airline finally to be launching this service”.

We also used the occasion to do a fly past of the city and the famous Golden Gate Bridge with our 747 G-VFAB. Even though it was probably slightly more cloudy than we would have liked! Many thanks to Captain Graham Ellison for sharing this video of the fly past.


You can book flights from Heathrow or Manchester to San Francisco on our website and discover more about San Francisco on our Destination pages.

About Dave Gunner

Dave is the co-editor of Ruby, the Virgin Atlantic Blog. He has worked at Virgin Atlantic for over two decades. In that time he has amassed some truly epic memories but never lost his fascination with the airline world. Dave's on a mission to bring you some great insights into our people, planes and planet.
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