PHILADELPHIA -- While Apple Vacations held its WinterSun 2002 trade show and seminar series at the Adams Mark Hotel here, Apple's sister company airline, USA 3000, worked on mini-evacuations, ditching exercises and other drills at Philadelphia International Airport to qualify for its FAA certification.

USA 3000, owned by Apple Vacations' owner John Mullen, recently took delivery of its first aircraft -- a new Airbus 320 named Philadelphia.

The airline's president, James B. Kenny, said the new aircraft is expected to make its first flight for Apple Vacations in four to six weeks.

The aircraft, configured for 168 passengers with a seat pitch of 30 to 32 inches per seat, is the first of what will be a fleet of five identical planes to be delivered over the next 12 months.

A second A320 will be delivered later this month, followed by others in March, October and November.

The new airline hopes to distinguish itself from standard airline service with "little touches," such as hot meals on almost every flight, champagne and mimosas, high quality coffee, flight attendants trained in the destination through fam trips, a customer friendly culture, more storage room and more legroom.

"These are things we can do to differentiate ourselves," said Kenney.

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