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Virgin Blue and V Australia Airlines APplaud New US-Austrlian Open SKies Agreement


Virgin Blue Airlines today 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 will 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,” Mr Godfrey said.


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.


"This is tremendously exciting for our team and opens a whole new range of possibilities for us and for the travelling public.”


"After eight years we believe we've proven our ability through Virgin Blue to stimulate change and innovation to the benefit of air travellers, tourism and the economy and V Australia will again be a catalyst for change, this time in the arena of international long haul aviation.”


“We would also like to acknowledge the hard work and willing co-operation of the Government negotiating team to facilitate the agreement,” Mr Godfrey said.