Virgin Atlantic is launching its first service over the Pacific on Friday. The V Australia service will fly direct between Sydney and Los Angeles. Passengers will now be able fly around the world on Sir Richard Branson’s airline for the first time in its 25-year history. The Sydney-LA service aims to break the Qantas and United Airlines duopoly on flights between Australia and the United States.
Sir Richard Branson, President, Virgin Atlantic, said: “The launch of V Australia joins up Sydney and LA, destinations currently served by Virgin Atlantic from London and it means consumers can travel on Virgin globally for the first time. It’s a unique moment in Virgin’s history.”
Flights from Brisbane to Los Angeles will follow shortly after on 8 April, 2009, with non-stop services between Melbourne and Los Angeles commencing on 15 September 2009.
V Australia is Australia’s newest international airline. Last week it was granted its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), which it applied for in August 2007.
The airline also become the first Australian operator to receive approvals for a Boeing 777-300ER on the Australian AOC.
V Australia’s Executive General Manager, Scott Swift, said: “Starting a long-haul airline from scratch is a phenomenal exercise and the V Australia and Virgin Blue teams have thrown their heart and souls into our mission to bring Australians a brand new, innovative, imaginative and customer service focused international airline.
“In the same way Virgin Blue forever changed the face of aviation in Australia nearly nine years ago, with our AOC in hand, today marks the beginning of the new era of trans-Pacific flying as V Australia lifts the standard for product, service and affordability on this market.”