Sir Richard Branson has vowed that Virgin Blue will retain its ‘Virgin’ identity as the carrier prepares to rebrand some time in the next few months.
“The Virgin name will stay forever,” Branson said at a function to celebrate the airline’s 10th anniversary in Melbourne. “I think Pacific Blue and the other (airlines) they will be rebranded. There’s a whole rebranding exercise which is going to be unveiled, maybe even in a month or so, which looks great. I’ve seen it and I think it’s very, very powerful.”
Both current CEO John Borghetti and former CEO Brett Godfrey had identified a need to unify the three different brands that Virgin Blue’s operations fly under. A number of sources have suggested that rebranding all the operations under the ‘V Australia’ brand is favoured, but given Branson’s comments, it appears more likely that Pacific Blue will come under the V Australia brand, while Virgin Blue’s domestic services may be rebranded as Virgin Australia.
Branson added that it was “very sad” that Virgin Blue’s proposed alliances with Air New Zealand and Delta Air Lines had both been provisionally rejected by competition authorities recently, particularly in light of other clearances given by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the US Department of Transport to bigger airline tie-ups, such as the alliance between British Airways and American Airlines, in recent months.