Virgin Blue has been renamed as Virgin Australia, with the first two aircraft painted in the airline’s new livery, a Boeing 737-800 and a Airbus A330-200, touching down at Sydney Airport just after 9am this morning.
From today Virgin Blue will operate domestically in Australia as Virgin Australia, while CEO John Borghetti also confirmed that the Pacific Blue and V Australia international arms of the airline will be rebranded as Virgin Australia by the end of 2011 as well.
The livery features a white background with the trademark ‘Virgin’ logo in red across the tail and rear fuselage, while there are red bands around the engine cowlings, a redesigned new ‘flying lady’ on the nose, and silver, lower case ‘virgin australia’ titles in silver on the forward fuselage, using the same font style as recently adopted by Virgin Atlantic.
As well as the new name, branding and livery, the airline also showed off its new domestic business class, with both the A330 and 737-800 fitted with business class seating, while a new ‘premium’ product offering is in the pipeline for Pacific Blue as well. Both business and economy class feature grey leather seats, while the 737 also featured the new ‘Boeing Sky’ 787 inspired interior, with its rescultped sidewalls and larger overhead bins.
“I’m absolutely thrilled with the new look and feel of Virgin Australia’s domestic product and I know it will shake up the Australian travel market on an even larger scale than it did 10 years ago,” Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said. “What you see here today is a great airline that now represents what the Virgin brand does worldwide – style, innovation, quality and value for money, along with the best service.”
John Borghetti told media that the rebranding exercise would cost in the order of $30-35 million, and that 20 aircraft would feature the new livery by the end of the year. A new television advertising campaign detailing the new branding is due to air on national television from this evening.