Last week Virgin Atlantic staked its official claim to having the world’s most attractive cabin crew. This week its sister airline Virgin Blue was joined by a supermodel – with Australian fashion icon Elle Macpherson among the pilots and crew to model its new uniforms.
Enterprise – the suborbital spacecraft developed by Virgin Galactic – has successfully completed its first manned free flight. The craft was released from its mothership at an altitude of 45,000 ft before successfully gliding to land at Mojave Air & Spaceport.
Virgin Unite has confirmed it will launch a Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean in the first half of 2011. The non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group will look to support aspiring entrepreneurs aged 18-35-years-old, in the creation and growth of small businesses in the Caribbean.
More than 50,000 passengers have been affected following the collapse the Virgin Blue ticketing system on Sunday evening. As many as 400 flights were cancelled or delayed following the outage, with the airline blaming its information technology producer – Navitaire – for the glitches.
Following forays into industries ranging from mobile phones to space travel, Sir Richard Branson has set his sights on a new challenge – the hotel sector. The billionaire investor has confirmed his Virgin Group will seek to expand into the luxury hotel market in north American over the next three years.
Etihad Airways and Virgin Blue Group have won interim authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to form an alliance on flights to Abu Dhabi. The body had earlier rejected an application from the Australian carrier to form an alliance with Air New Zealand while US authorities scuppered a deal with Delta Air Ways.
Virgin Blue Holdings has seen stocks soar this morning following a return to profitability for financial 2010 and confirmation of a major linkup with Etihad Airways. The agreement will see VBH’s international arm - V Australia - launch direct services to Abu Dhabi in 2011, with the two airlines subsequently offering a joint network of more than 100 destinations.
Pacific Blue, a subsidiary of Richard Branson’s Virgin Blue, is axing its New Zealand domestic operations after suffering from years of heavy losses. It will redeploy planes and staff on transtasman services to Australia.
Fulfilling the ambition of many down here on earth, it has been confirmed Russell Brand will be blasted into space. Sadly for some, he will also be returning to earth aboard the newly launched Virgin Galactic service, as he enjoys a luxurious $200,000 birthday gift from singer girlfriend Katy Perry.
Former Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon has been appointed the new chairman of Tourism Australia in a move designed to restore “leadership” to the organisation. A shake up at the top also sees Perth businesswoman Kate Lamont and former Virgin Blue chief executive Brett Godfrey take up positions on the board.
Virgin Limited Edition, Sir Richard Branson’s privately owned collection of award-winning luxury retreats, is pleased to announce that Tristin Swales has joined the company as its new Group Operations Director.
Shares in Virgin Blue, Australia’s second largest carrier, fell as much as 30 per cent on Friday after it revealed that full-year profits could be as much as 75 percent lower than forecast only weeks ago. It blamed a “rapid deterioration and increased volatility” in trading, with leisure bookings hit particularly hard.