V AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES SECOND TRANS-PACIFIC ROUTE08/04/2009
INAUGURAL FLIGHT TAKES OFF FROM “BRIS VEGAS” TO LOS ANGELES
Wednesday 8 April, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA: Less than six weeks after it first took to the skies, Australia’s newest International airline, V Australia, will today launch its second route, linking Australia’s Sunshine State to the US State of California, with the departure of the inaugural services between Brisbane, Australia and Los Angeles, USA.
The long haul boutique style airline will introduce the new three weekly flights, hot on the heels of the recently launched daily direct Sydney-Los Angeles service.
In the past few weeks since its inception, V Australia has received resounding support both for its in-flight services, products and people, as well as the affordable fares it introduced in to the market. Compared to the same time last year, trans-Pacific fares have dropped 54%^, a direct result of competition and a new player in the game.
Virgin Blue Group Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey said, “We are again pleased to be a catalyst for more affordable air fares on this previously duopolistic market.
“Already we are aware of people who have now flown V Australia between the US and Australia, be it for business or pleasure, who up until now, weren’t able to do so and of that, we are very proud.”
He added, “While it’s early days V Australia is performing to our expectations and based on feedback to date, exceeding those of our Guests.”
The airline spent two years developing and tweaking V Australia’s in-flight product to ensure it provided innovations, little “Virgin” style touches and high quality service to appeal to all travellers. Among them are complimentary business class thongs, generous seating, lie-flat beds and state-of-the-art personal touch screen in-flight entertainment. It was all designed following feedback from flyers that when travelling on long haul flights the most important desirability’s were personal space, quality of meals and being entertained.
One of the other key factors for travellers is the convenience of direct services and today, the V Australia team is excited to add a second non-stop trans-Pacific service to its route network, with Brisbane chosen as the next destination to get the direct US link.
Brett Godfrey said, “Brisbane is Virgin Blue’s home base, our roots are here and we have been grateful for the support of the people of Queensland who have staunchly stood by us as we grew from a two aircraft airline to a group of four airlines operating 80 aircraft across Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and the now the USA.”
“We are especially pleased to be strengthening our ties with Queensland and adding the USA to the destinations our airline group now services from Brisbane International Airport.”
Among those boarding the V Australia flight to LA to help celebrate the milestone are celebrity Guests including esteemed actor Michael Caton, sassy songstress Deni Hines, TV personality Mike Goldman, Bollywood leading lady Tania Zaetta, Queen of Brisbane Travel TV Sofie Formica, along with staff, competition prize winners and paying passengers.
The inbound flight which landed early this morning carried US based travel media, travel agents and corporate guests as part of a campaign to raise awareness of Queensland’s accessibility, tourism delights and affordability.
Also on board the inaugural flight from Los Angeles to Brisbane was former QLD Premier and current Commissioner for Queensland in the Americas, the Hon Peter Beattie.
V Australia will also work closely with Queensland Tourism as well as the Queensland Government to further develop opportunities for the state through trade and tourism.
Brett Godfrey continued, “This is a terrific opportunity for us as an airline to work hand in hand with our tourism partners to provide a stimulus at a time when it is needed most.”
The Australian dollar provides US travellers with a great exchange rate which translates to more bucks in their swim trunks and given Brisbane is a hub for connecting flights to the world famous Whitsunday region as well as further north to Cairns and beyond, there is ample opportunity to spruik the state of Queensland to a pool of potential new visitors.
V Australia will be only the second airline to offer direct flights from Brisbane to Los Angeles and with a departure time of 11am and arrival time in Los Angeles of 7.00am.
The flight offers seamless connections with V Australia’s interline partner Delta Airlines to over 25 destinations in North America, including a quick and easy connection from LA to New York’s JFK airport.
V Australia BNE-LAX fares start from $999* for a return economy flight, $1777* for a Premium Economy return flight and $5999* for a Business Class return flight.
* All fares are for flights booked on the internet or $50 more when booked by phone. Fares are inclusive of all taxes, fees and charges and subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak times. A credit card surcharge of an additional $15 per person per booking is applicable. The sale fares are on sale until 14 April or until sold out and for travel from 8 April to 16 June 2009 and 18 July to 8 December 2009 For V Australia bookings log on to www.vaustralia.com.au or phone our award winning Guest Contact Centre on 13 8287 or contact a travel agent.
^ source: Qantas Red-E Email communication. The best Qantas fare on offer on the 31st March 2008 between Sydney and LA was $2146, more than double the fare available today.