Virgin Blue To Fly Trans-Pacific Route
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Virgin Blue has announced details of its new long haul carrier and flagship aircraft, moving a step closer to offering an alternative service on the trans-pacific route. The announcement comes after it yesterday received approval from Australia’s International Air Services Commission to operate return non-stop services to the US from late 2008, and immediately follows Qantas’ unveiling of further details about its Airbus A380 fleet and new ‘premium economy’ class.

V Australia will initially operate flights between the east coast of Australia and the west coast of the US, with the first flight operated by a brand new B777-300ER launch aircraft named Didgeree Blue.

The livery of V Australia was also unveiled today, sporting a design that Virgin believes builds on its Virgin Blue roots, while revealing a contemporary look symbolising the launch of a “new era of competition” on the Trans Pacific route. The aircraft will have a silver fuselage with a red tail, featuring the stars of the Southern Cross and elements of the Australian flag.

V Australia will be the fourth airline in the Virgin Blue Group of Airlines, including domestic carrier Virgin Blue, New Zealand based airline Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue, the joint venture airline between Virgin Blue and the Government of Samoa.

According to Virgin Blue Airlines Group Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey: “This is the first time in decades Australia has a start-up long haul international airline and we look forward to bringing competitive air fares and a new style of service to the Trans Pacific market.

“We had an amazing response to help name the airline and V Australia stood out among the entries. It is nice and simple, easily recognised, both understated and obvious and has a clear Australian identity”.

Both the ‘V Australia’ and ‘Didgeree Blue’ names were selected
following a competition conducted in partnership with the MIX FM radio

V Australia has also applied for permission from the United States Government to commence services in November 2008, and is continuing its progress with the development of its launch route network, product and fare structure.