Virgin Australia’s new Boeing 737-800 & Airbus A330-300 arrives in Sydney for the Virgin Australia brand launch. Virgin Blues New Boeing 737-800 Boeing 737-800 named Bondi Beach close up Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 in foreground and Airbus A330-200 in background Virgin Australia Launch Richard Branson and John Borghetti wave the Australian Flag on the new Airbus A330-200 Some shots of Richard Branson, John Borghetti and the flight crew after both the new Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A330-200 touched down in Sydney. Richard Branson Two Thumbs up for the Launch of Virgin Australia Richard Branson and John Borghetti Richard Branson and John Borghetti’s announce the transformation for Virgin Blue into Virgin Australia The new Virgin Australia Crew Uniform The new Virgin Australia Crew Uniform Virgin Australia Boeing 737-200 Interior Cabin Photos Virgin Australia 737-800 Business Class Seat that will begin service as Premium Economy Business Class seat on the Boeing 737-800 Economy Class Seats on the Boeing 737-800 Virgin Australia Airbus A330-200 Interior Cabin Photos The Business Class Seat on Virgin Australia’s Airbus A330-200 Virgin Australia Business Class Meal on the Airbus A330-200 Virgin Australia Business Class Meal on the Virgin Australia Airbus A330-200 The Business Class Seat fully reclined on board Virgin Australias new Airbus A330-200 Virgin Australia Airbus A330-200 Economy Class Virgin Australia Airbus A330-200 in-flight entertainment screen in Economy Class More coverage of Virgin Australia launch day can be seen here: Virgin Australia is Officially Launched Watch out QantasVirgin Australia TV CommercialVirgin Australia Business Class Airbus A330-200 Cabin Overview
As speculated here last month Virgin Blue was today officially renamed to Virgin Australia at today’s media event at Sydney Airport, on hand to announce the re-branding was Virgin CEO Richard Branson and Virgin Blue now Virgin Australia’s CEO John Borghetti. Virgin CEO Richard Branson gives two thumbs up to Virgin Australia Virgin Australias Airbus A330-200 in the background with the tail of the 737-800 to the right The Virgin Australia name change is a small part of John Borghetti’s plan to change the company into a full service airline, below I have outlined some of the elements of the rebranding that featured at today’s Virgin Australia launch The first and most obvious change is the name and company logo, as reported here last month the new Virgin Australia logo follows the design elements of other Virgin Franchises around the world with the word Virgin in red on the tail down the fuselage from the front of the aircraft is the name virgin australia in an all lower case blue/grey font. Sir Richard Branson Announcing the new Virgin Australia Brand Points to take our of the media launch event were: One Virgin Australia Brand All Virgin brands in Australia (Virgin Blue, V Australia and Pacific Blue) will be rolled into the Virgin Australia brand by the end of the year, with Virgin Blue brand already operating as Virgin Australia this only leaves V Australia and Pacific Blue Velocity Loyalty/Frequent Flyer Program to be revamped by the end of the year with a new name Business Class to be expanded to more aircraft and more routes Alignment of cabin product across all aircraft Sir Richard and John Borghetti believe their cabin product in both Business and Economy will beat Qantas in terms of price and quality The next most obvious element of the Virgin Australia re-branding is Virgin Australians’ new Aircraft with the inclusion of a business class cabin. Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 The first aircraft to taxi over to the media event was the new Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 named Bondi Beach this aircraft is the latest generation 737-800 that has 176 seats in total with 168 seats in Economy class that are laid out in a 3-3 seating configuration and at the front of the aircraft is Virgin Australia’s 737-800 Business Class seats that will initially operate as Premium Economy the 8 seats in Premium Economy that are laid out in a 2-2 seating config, I was told that this aircraft will go into service tonight so anyone lucky enough to be flying Premium Economy on this aircraft will actually be sitting in what will be a Business Seat. It should be noted that this aircraft does not have any in-seat inflight entertainment systems installed at present, these will be added in the future, for tonight first flight passengers will have access to portable IFE units. The Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 […]
Flight Global Wings Down under Blogger Will Horton has revealed the new Virgin Australia Logo that was recently lodged with the Australian brand management agency IP Australia. The Virgin Australia logo submitted to IP Australia was a gray-scale version of sporting the same design elements that are seen on other Virgin airline logos around the world, with the traditional Virgin tail with the added australia in a lowercase non-italic font. The new Virgin Australia brand is expected to be released in Sydney on Wednesday 4 May along with Virgin Australia’s new Airbus A330-200 and next generation Boeing 737-800 with its futuristic Sky interior that was designed by Boeing. Last week Virgin Blue’s CEO John Borghetti confirmed that the airline would be re-branded in order to reduce and align the number of brands under the now Virgin Blue banner, however it should be noted that John Borghetti said that: “You won’t see us, or you probably won’t see us, move to one brand but I can guarantee a rationalisation.” From the above statement we are expecting the international brand V Australia to remain with the possibility of Pacific Blue & Polynesian Blue being rolled under the V Australia umbrella; however this is only speculation on our part, full details are expected to be released at next week’s Virgin Australia launch. The rebranding of Virgin Blue into Virgin Australia is part of Borghetti’s master plan to transform the company from a low cost carrier into a full service carrier; one that can compete with Qantas at all levels. Other parts of the Virgin Australia master plan include: Virgin Blue Virgin Australia Business Class
V Australia has announced that last night V Australia flight VA02 from Los Angeles to Sydney returned to Los Angeles after the pilot found performance issues with the left engine. The airline has chartered a Boeing 747 to maintain today’s scheduled services from Australia and is working to minimize delays to passengers. Last night International passengers were provided overnight hotel accommodation in Los Angeles, and all passengers were re-imbursed transport costs to take them to their accommodation and/or homes. V Australia is assisting passengers in making alternative travel arrangements including transferring to other Airlines. V Australia operates Boeing 777-300ER on the Sydney to Los Angeles route powered by General Electric GE90 engines, it is not yet known the cause of the power issue and investigations are continuing.
If you are one of the few Australians who does not have Qantas Frequent Flyer membership then this tip will save you some money. Membership to Qantas’ Frequent Flyer Program usually costs AU $82.50 if you sign up via the Qantas website. However if you want to join the Qantas Frequent Flyer program for free, simply go into your nearest Woolworths store and pickup a free Woolworths Everyday Rewards membership and then complete your Everyday rewards membership online at everydayrewards.com.au During the registration process you will be asked if you would like to link your everyday rewards card to your existing Qantas Frequent Flyer membership or Sign-up for a Free Qantas Frequent Flyer membership Whamo you have just saved AU $82.50 and you can also start earning Qantas Frequent Flyer Miles every time you shop. You can use your Woolworths Everyday rewards card to earn additional Qantas Frequent Flyer miles (Every dollar spent over $30 earns you 1 QFF Mile) at Woolworths, Beer Wine Spirits (BWS), Dick Smith Electronics, Big W and more.
After a short delay Singapore Airlines has announced that it will commence their Airbus A380 service from Singapore to Los Angeles via Tokyo from 1 July 2011. Singapore Airlines had originally intended to operate this service from 27 March 2011 but these plans were delayed due to the Japanese Earthquake that struck the sea off of Japan on 11 March 2011. Singapore Airlines A380 Singapore Tokyo Los Angeles route will operate under flight number SQ12 Singapore to Los Angeles and SQ11 Los Angeles to Singapore. Singapore Airlines Singapore to Los Angeles is Singapore Airlines 8th Airbus A380 Route. From Singapore to Los Angeles via Narita Flight No. Days of Operation Depart Singapore Arrive in Narita Depart Narita Arrive in Los Angeles SQ12 Daily 0925hrs 1730hrs 1915hrs 1330hrs From Los Angeles to Singapore via Narita Flight No. Days of Operation Depart Los Angeles Arrive in Narita Depart Narita Arrive in Singapore SQ11 Daily 1545hrs 1915hrs +1 * 2050hrs +1 * 0305hrs +2 * * +1 indicates that the time listed is one day after the date of departure, while +2 indicates two days after the date of departure. Singapore Airlines was the first Airline to put the Airbus A380 into production and Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380 features three classes with 12 private suites in a 1-2-1 seating configuration in First Class (Singapore Suites Class), 60 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 seating configuration and 399 Economy Class seats in a 3-4-3 seating configuration.
Flightglobal is reporting that Singapore Airlines has been granted special authorization from Airbus to allow the installation of Singapore Airlines extremely popular business class seat into is 12th Airbus A380 aircraft. Last year the manufacturer of Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class seat Koito of Japan admitted falsifying data on 150,000 of its seats in use on 1000 aircraft from 32 different carriers, in response to this Airbus slapped a “cannot produce seat or seat parts for airborne use” order on the Koito. Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Seat is extremely popular with its passengers as it widest and one of the most comfortable Business Class seats in the sky (widest seat title shared with Air Frances’ A380) It is also believed that Singapore Airlines plans to install the Koito seat on at least two more of its delayed Airbus A380 Aircraft (SIAs 13th & 14th Airbus A380). The ATI Flightblogger blog said “Airbus’ exceptional authorization is understood to have been issued with a number of stipulations, including EASA approval prior to delivery.” “We have three A380 deliveries coming up in the next few months and the priority has been on working with Airbus and Koito to meet certification requirements for the business class seats,” a Singapore Airlines spokesman said Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class seat is 34” (86.3 cm) wide, converts into a full lie-flat bed and seats are configured in a 1-2-1 seating configuration
Malaysia Airlines have announced that they will be putting a second of its new Airbus A330-300 aircraft on a route from Kuala Lumpur to Australia. Malaysia Airlines were unable to say which route their second Australian Airbus A330-300 would be put on however it has been confirmed the aircraft will make an appearance by the end of the year. On the 20 April 2011 Malaysia Airlines put its first Airbus A330-300 on the Kuala Lumpur to Brisbane route. Malaysia Airlines A330-300 aircraft features two classes with 36 business class seats configured in a 2-2-2 seating configuration, and 247 economy class seats in a 2-4-2 seating configuration. Malaysia Airlines has a total of 15 Airbus A330-300 aircraft on order from Airbus as well as an order for 6 Airbus A380 superjumbo aircraft, the first of which will go into operation in early 2012. Malaysia Airlines operates twice daily flights to both Sydney and Melbourne, and flights alternating between daily and twice daily to Perth, and 6 weekly flights to Adelaide.
Today Qantas today will put its tenth Airbus A380 into Service on the Sydney (SYD) to London (LHR) (via Singapore) route (QF31 & QF32). Qantas’ tenth Airbus A380 has the registration number VH-OQJ and is named Bert Hinkler (the first person to fly solo from Britain to Australia in 1928) QF31 is is scheduled to depart Sydney at 1610 hours and arrival at London’s Heathrow International Airport at 0635 hrs +1 day, for the stop-over in Singapore the aircraft will arrive in Singapore at 2230 hrs departing for Heathrow at 2359 hrs The Qantas A380 features four classes with 14 first class suites/full lie-flat seats in the front of the main deck configured in a 1-1-1 seating configuration, 72 full lie-flat seats in Business Class located at the front of the upper deck configured in a 2-2-2 seating configuration, 32 Qantas Premium Economy seats located in the rear of the upper deck configured in a 2-3-2 seating configuration and 332 Economy class seats located in the rear of the main deck behind first class in a 3-4-3 seating configuration.
In a sign of the charging times Qantas has announced it will begin charging a AU$20 (per person per sector) fee for passengers who request Advance Seat Selection on International flights booked through travel agents, the new charge will take effect from 13 April 2011 (until this date Qantas will continue to waive the charge for travel agents) However Advance Seat Selection will be complimentary for: Qantas Domestic Bookings International Flights in Premium Economy, Business Class or First Class For Platinum, Gold, Silver (or oneworld equivalent) Frequent Flyers Travelling on the same booking as any of the above travelers In the past advance seat selection was only available for frequent flyers with status (Platinum, Gold, and Silver) in addition to GDS (travel agent) booking; however on 30 May 2011 Qantas gave regular flyers without status the option (with charge) for advance seat selection on booking made via Qantas.com, the above change will align the change for travel agent bookings with Qantas online bookings. If a passenger does not make an Advance Seat Selection a seat will be allocated to the passenger/s at check-in based on their preference stored in their frequent flyer profile.
The US registered traveller program Clear, which provides members priority lanes at some US airports, has announced a government employee discount program. The government discount scheme costs US$99 and gives members signing up for 12 months an additional month of membership. Clear currently operate at the following airports: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG) Indianapolis (IND) Newark Terminal B (EWR) New York JFK Terminals 1, 4 and 7 (JFK) Orlando (MCO) Reno-Tahoe (RNO) San José (SJC) In addition Clear is coming to the following airports soon: Albany (ALB) LaGuardia (LGA) Little Rock (LIT) San Francisco (SFO) Westchester (HPN) Denver (DIA) Reagan National (DCA) Washington Dulles (IAD) When completing the enrolment you, must agree that are a government employee, in addition you must bring in your government employee ID along with two additional acceptable forms of ID To signup head over to the Clear Government Employee Program website
With a recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in the UK, Australian Customs and the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) have announced that all passengers on flights from the United Kingdom (UK) will be subject to a tougher inspections, which will require all luggage to be either X-rayed or physically inspected. Peter McGauran the Australian Agriculture Minister said “Every passenger arriving in Australia from Britain, and passengers travelling from the UK, will be required to have their luggage X-rayed and or physically inspected by quarantine officials, If they have travelled to rural areas in the UK, their footwear will be inspected and treated as required, before they are able to clear quarantine” “All cargo arriving in Australia will also be subject to increased surveillance of containers and other items that could be contaminated with the virus.”