MIAMI – Today in Aviation, after commencing international flights in 2009, V Australia was integrated into Virgin Australia (VA) in 2011.
V Australia can trace its history back to 2006 when Virgin Blue, looked to establish an International subsidiary. The carrier was granted permission to operate up to ten flights per week between Australia and the US following the signing of an open skies agreement.
Five Boeing 777-330ER’s were acquired to launch the carrier whose name was chosen following a public competition in June 2007. The jets were configured with 353-seats in a three-class layout.
Flights commenced on February 27, 2009, with a flight from Sydney (SYD) to Los Angeles (LAX). Hubs were later opened in Melbourne and Brisbane and services commenced to Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg, Nadi, and Phuket. Plans to launch flights to various other North American destinations including Las Vegas (LAS) and New York (JFK) never materialized.
In early 2011, it was announced that Virgin Blue (as Virgin Australia was then known) would be going through a complete rebranding. This was part of a campaign to entice business passengers away from Qantas (QF).
Part of this included the absorption of V Australia, as well as Pacific Blue (DJ) into the new airline.
Sadly the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the airline. After entering voluntary administration in April 2020, a full restructuring was undertaken. This saw all of the carrier’s long-haul routes suspended and its fleet of Boeing 777s retired.
Featured image: Virgin Australia V Australia VH-VPF BOEING 777-3ZG(ER). Brandon Farris/Airways