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Virgin Australia touches down

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 4, 2011

The first Virgin Australia painted A330 lands at Sydney. (photo courtesy Paul Sadler/Airservices Australia)

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.

Virgin Australia 737. (Andrew McLaughlin)

“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.

The 737's interior.

Comments (11)

  • KGM


    Quite a restrained livery, but the 737 interior looks great, and I guess that’s what most passengers will really care about.

  • NJP


    Shame the tail doesn’t match the design of the other Virgin Airlines -Atlantic, America etc. The oversized text cheapens the rest of the up-market branding.

  • ACT


    Would have liked the whole engine pod one of the dark red or purple. Agree NJP, the tail could have been better.

  • Barry


    Couldn’t agree more – it looks cheap, as if it was done in a hurry on a loan aircraft.

    From a distance it now looks like any other airline with a white body and red tail…….

  • mofty


    The seats looks ok but looks basic… just like rubber hard seats.. i dont see it as feeling confy. its all to do with spectacular colours but how about quality and confort?

  • NW


    The new livery is a 100% improvement on the very tired red “budget” livery. It is simple & elegant and also a clear statement that it is part of the Virgin group which will prove very important on international routes.
    The interior looks great,way better than the dreadful navy & red that never worked – it looked like public transport seating from the 80’s.
    More important than paint or leather is the passenger experience, it will interesting to see what has changed.

  • Kuma


    Air Vanuatu old paint? Look it up

  • David


    I was lucky enough to go on the new 737 a couple of weeks ago before it had the livery; very nice interior and the seats were great… better than the normal ones.

  • Tegan


    I don’t mind the re launch, but I am devastated to see that the maidens names are not as good as they used to be. They are now all named of Australian beaches. A bit too much like QANTAS.

  • Ron


    Of course it’s going to be a “bit too much like Qantas”. Borghetti can’t help himself. He want’s Virgin to be as much like Qantas as he can; they’re the one he’s competing with. I agree about the tail though, it does look tacky. I guess if Sir Richard is happy, we should be too, but the whole re-branding does tend to lose some of that “Australian” feel to it. As for V Aust & Pacific Blue, I thought VB could use the “Virgin” name outside of Australia. Have I missed something on that one?

  • Mike



    VB’s old interiors looked like an old school bus, was always bad even from the beginning. The lovery is a but bland, but its new fresh and clean. Those old red aircraft looked as daggy as the old interior did.

    I like it overall, there could be some improvements on the exterior…but overall good.

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