Virgin America has named Steve Forte as the airline's first chief operating officer, effective 8 April.
He will report to David Cush, Virgin America's president and chief executive officer, and will be based at the airline's headquarters in Burlingame, California.
In this role, Forte will overlook flight operations, the operation control centre, aircraft maintenance, safety and guest services.
A thirty-year airline industry veteran, Forte spent most of his career at United Airlines. Most recently, he was chief executive officer of iJet Onboard, a privately-held provider of platform-based aviation software services.