SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Virgin America has launched service between Los Angeles and San Jose.

The first passengers on the L.A. to San Jose flight were greeted at Mineta San Jose International Airport on Wednesday by Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin America – which is based in Burlingame.

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The billionaire entrepreneur talked up the flight’s free on board WiFi, power outlets near every seat and showed off the storage room in the Airbus A320 by having a flight attendant crawl inside the overhead bins.

“Obviously San Jose to Los Angeles is a route that is very popular,” Branson said. “And then from Los Angeles, we fly all over America and to the rest of the world – to Australia, to Europe and so on. Virgin’s the kind of airline that works for people who live in San Jose.”

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The addition of Virgin adds a much-needed “cool factor” to the Silicon Valley hub, which is struggling to add flights.

San Jose City Council Member Rose Herrera sits on the airport competitiveness committee.

“Virgin took a look at who’s flying and they found out a lot of their planes are filled with Silicon Valley folks, folks from San Jose that are having to travel too far,” Herrera said. “Now they can go really close by and it saves productivity.”

With the four new daily flights, city and airport officials said they are hoping to attract more airlines to the hub.

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