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All white Virgin points to 2011 relaunch

written by australianaviation.com.au | January 5, 2011

All white VB 737-800 VH-VUY lands at Sydney on January 3. (Seth Jaworski)

Virgin Blue has placed a brand new Boeing 737-800 into service featuring an anonymous all-white paint scheme as the airline prepares to relaunch with a new livery and branding in the first half of 2011.

VB placed 737-8K8 VH-VUY into service just before Christmas, with the aircraft completely devoid of any airline logos and titles. Inside, however, the aircraft is fitted with Virgin Blue’s standard blue leather seat interior.

Virgin Blue CEO John Borghetti has remained tightlipped about plans for the airline’s relaunch, but elements are expected to include a new aircraft livery, possibly a new name, new cabin crew, customer service and flightcrew uniforms, and upgraded inflight product offerings including a domestic business class.

“If there is one thing we don’t want to be it’s Qantas,” Borghetti, himself an ex Qantas veteran, told The Australian in a recent interview. “But what we do want to be – and what we are driving to – is being an airline that is relevant in today’s world for both the leisure and the business traveller domestically and internationally.”

Borghetti told the paper that given Virgin Blue’s comparative youth, “we’re able to create a product going into this new space that is relevant to today rather than a product that has been around for decades and simply gets refreshed.”

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Comments (13)

  • Yusef Danet


    Umm, wrong AA.

    The white 737 is to become a “flying billboard” for the AFL, as part of Virgin’s contract as their official airline.

  • Michael James


    Oh yawn – what a boring story – despite JB’s words it’s a refresh for the nasty brand and image….I’d still never fly the low cost carrier…..give me QANTAS any day with new Terminals,lounges and the check in system….unparalleled…Jetstar is Virgin’s or V Australia’s competitor.

  • Drewzy


    Michael James. Just wait and see wait and see.

  • John


    V Australia is actually a ‘full’ Qantas competitor – it does actually have food and in-flight entertainment included in the ticket price. Or more tellingly if that’s a word, Skytrax don’t list them in low-cost airlines so enough said. Also, I believe V and Jetstar (for now) fly on different routes… hardly competition.

  • russell


    Far out guys stop you whing virgin blue will catch up to
    qantas soon as they have the best CEO and other staff and i belive
    the new relaunch will grad us by the tale like it did 10 yrs ago. i
    will be looking forward to the new VIRGIN BLUE.

  • Michael James


    Granted – V directly competes with QF on LAX so apologies. Just keep in mind that QF have 34 services a week to the US….remarkably more than what V offers at present. I flew V to see how it all looked and it was pleasant however after experiencing the Qantas A380, nothing compares albeit the recent engine issues. Good luck I guess with whatever unfolds DJ….will watch with interest.

  • craig


    good on VB as a platinum qf ff I look forward to the business class product, bring on the bolly

  • Alan Smithee


    I think it is funny that people think V is a competitor to QF. The way that V treats its Pilots is a joke, it really is. I am not sure it is freely available but try to get a hold of their employment contract, the pay rates are an absolute disgrace. The race to the bottom of the barrel for conditions and experience is well and truly near an end guys.

    The big shiny jet syndrome is alive and well.

    V is losing a lot of money for Virgin – JB gave them notice that if it doesn’t turn a profit in a certain time then it is goodbye. As someone else said give the 380 a try and then have another think. The 380 is way ahead of the 777 and pax love them – word of mouth is a powerful, powerful tool.

  • Andrew Daniell


    Interesting that John Borghetti now seems to criticise the QF product. Wasn’t he 2IC for years? If he considered it that bad, surely he was in a position to change the product? Sounds like sour grapes on losing out to Alan Joyce for the CEO role.

  • Tom


    Qantas lose points only with their inflight services and entertainment. Their lounges and ground services are excellent. Qantas should be providing the same Foxtel product on their flights as virgin with the price incorporated into the fare. Meals are good but their timing for the meals (none after 2030) is a joke. When I fly home on a friday night the hot food at the club is all gone then all I get is a cookie on my flight to brisbane.

    If qantas do market research they need to stop surveying the 50-60 yo frequent flyers because in 10 years they will all be gone an those of us who like to watch a TV show of our choosing (not a guide to wine on a CRT screen suspended in the aisle) will have switched to virgin blue.

    Qantas have still got me at the moment because of their international connections and FF scheme but if they dont pick up their game and modernise the domestic side of things they will lose me and I know for a fact that a significant amount of my peers feel the same way.

  • Mark


    At the end of the day when all is said and done, you’ll have your Qantas and Virgin loyal customers who will remain so, you’ll also have customers from both side of the camps trying out the other with their own opinions. I believe that generally speaking, airlines are trying their best to survive in current conditions and trying to raise the bar in becoming even better but it’s all down to money amongst other factors.

    I don’t think ANY airline is going to please all of their customers ALL the time with the choices they make but they’ll do their best with what they’ve got. If we’re to compare QF/VB Group, then lets all remember how long both companies have been in business for, route networks, fleet size etc, they both have different stats.

  • lolz


    V Australia, competing with Qantas. Now that is hilarious.

    The Virgin Blue Group of Airlines pose no threat to the QantasGroup, 2 strong and growing brands, a huge portfolio of assets, and routes that virgin can only dream about.

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