Virgin Blue names Aussie-US airline V Australia

27 July, 2007:

The new long-haul international airline operated by Virgin Blue between Australia and the US is to be christened V Australia. The service would begin in late 2008, chief executive Brett Godfrey said.

Virgin has in the meantime received Australian regulatory approval to fly 10 services a week to the US, as long as the airline hits the skies before November 30, 2008. The airline is awaiting approval from US regulators.

According to an aviation industry report, the airline will be competing with Australia's Qantas and US airlines' United and Hawaiian Airlines on the lucrative Australia-US route. The report added that this is the first time in decades Australia will have a start-up long haul international airline. The company may introduce competitive air fares and a new style of service to the Trans Pacific market.

Aiming to get into profitable territory within two years, V Australia would, in the first year, incur just at its own cost base in Virgin Blue, nearly $25 million, even before it starts flying. The outlay for V Australia is expected to come in at around $70 million over and above lines of credit that are needed to secure aircraft.

It has been reported that Virgin has spent about $2.2 billion to purchase six Boeing 777-300ER for V Australia, with the lease of a seventh taking the total cost of the fleet to $2.6 billion.





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