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.”