Transport Airlines

Las Vegas operators look to celebrity endorsements to launch a luxury airline in 2013

Dec 25, 2012 12:36 am

Skift Take

LV Air is looking at Virgin America’s playbook in its efforts to cultivate a youthful and high-tech brand, but in this case it looks a bit more like someone turned the management suite over to a club promoter than Virgin 2.0.

— Samantha Shankman

Free Report: The Changing Business of Extended-Stay Hotels

O. Palsson  / Flickr.com

A view of the Bellagio and Las Vegas from above. O. Palsson / Flickr.com


The airline promising Las Vegas thrills, holographic image safety briefings, as well as full reclining luxury beds in first class is back on the horizon. Armed with over $35 million, a soft aircraft market, and an experienced management team at the helm, LV Air makes strides towards a launch in 2013. The company will have offices in Las Vegas and New York City.

“We’re completely on track for 2013,” says CEO and Founder Eneliko Sean Smith. “An offer has been made to acquire a fully certified carrier. Our designer Edese Doret has begun designs and features for First Class to include state of the art reclining beds, a live plant wall and a shower/changing room. In Club Class, translucent bulk heads, a Circle Bar, and 3D Surround Sound will be the norm. Every flight will feature an online and private network gaming experience.”

Leading the LV Air launch team is Andrew Cowen, Managing Director of Mango Aviation partners (The company which helped launch other luxury airlines such as Silverjet, Eos and Duo) “I feel sure that with a properly structured offering, LV Air could become very successful…I would also highlight that Eneliko Sean Smith, LV Air’s founder, is a successful entrepreneur focused on bringing fresh thinking and innovation to the airline market. Aviation is liberalizing fast bringing much needed competition to established carriers.”

Smith, originally from the hotel industry, is known for his creative style, intense work ethic and willingness to think outside of the box. Interest from private investors, gaming companies, and celebrities worldwide have surged the company forward with publicity, products, and cash. “It’s a new strategy,” says Celebrity Public Relations Director George Cotton Jr. “Think of Jay Z’s synergistic effect on the Barclay Center, and multiply it by 10.” Cotton has received numerous calls from celebrities that see brand and product sales value in the LV Air association with youthful, high tech, luxury customers and its innovative handheld and social media 1 to 1 marketing focus. “It’s not about Degrees anymore, it’s about creative minds and innovative ideas,” says Derrick Ellis, VP, Social Media of LV Air. The airline expects to hit the ground running with an intense social media campaign in early 2013.

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