Virgin Blue backs open skies

Virgin Blue Airlines has congratulated the Australian and US Governments for introducing a new era of competition for air services between the United States of America and Australia.The airline is preparing to launch its V Australia international subsidiary and is expected to unveil first details of its in-flight product and inaugural operations next month. V Australia will operate flights with Boeing 777-300ER aircraft commencing in late 2008.

“The Australia-US Open Skies agreement is a great achievement and a significant change after almost twenty years of restrictive bi-laterals,” Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said.

“The agreement and the approvals granted underline the commitment of both Governments to extensively liberalise Australia-US air services, a decision we strongly endorse and one which will bring significant benefits to both countries.”

“We are also particularly proud of the contributing role we have played as a catalyst for the establishment of this agreement. It will enable us to bring long awaited, genuine competition to the trans-Pacific market,” added Mr Godfrey.

The approvals granted at the Open Skies talks in the United States will enable V Australia to commence operations with 10 weekly frequencies between the countries.