Virgin America jet emblazoned with Steve Jobs quote takes to the skies

Mixed reaction to jet artwork: 'Heartwarming' tribute or cynical exploitation, take your pick

Silicon Valley-based airline Virgin America named one its jets after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. But the jet isn't named "Steve Jobs."

The nose of the Airbus A320 bears a popular Jobs quote: "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish." Jobs himself borrowed the quotation from Stewart Brand, who wrote it in the last edition of "The Whole Earth Catalog" in the mid-1970s. The jet entered service late in 2011.

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The company sponsored an internal "plane naming" competition and the quote was submitted as a "tribute" to the late Apple CEO by an airline employee, according to a brief story at CNET.

"The idea behind Virgin America was to reinvent the travel experience by thinking differently about design and service -- we are known for the tech-forward amenities we offer onboard," according to airline spokesperson Abby Lunardini, which CNET reported as a fact instead of as a transparent and shameless marketing ploy.

9to5Mac went much further, gushing in a headline that Virgin America "honors" Jobs with the label. "More than two and a half months later [after Jobs' death], it is still heartwarming to see big brands pay respect to the values Jobs stood for and to his achievements," writes Christian Zibreg.

According to CNET, Virgin America's new jets will offer "touch-screen entertainment and power outlets at every seat" and in coming months Gogo's ATG-4 wireless service, which will increase Wi-Fi capacity by nearly four times the current performance.

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