Virgin Blue rebrands itself as full-service carrier Virgin Australia

Virgin Blue rebrands itself as full-service carrier Virgin Australia

Premium travelers flying to Australia now have a new option when they are looking to buy tickets, as former low-cost carrier Virgin Blue has rebranded itself as a full-service airline known as Virgin Australia, according to SkyClub News.

The official unveiling of the carrier's new brand identity coincided with the airline taking delivery of two new jets, a Boeing 737-800 known as "Bondi Beach" and an Airbus A330-200 called "Cable Beach." The new aircraft are the first owned by Virgin Australia to include a business class cabin, as the airline offered only economy and premium economy seating when it operated as Virgin Blue.

"Virgin Australia will provide a new standard of airline travel in Australia," said John Borghetti, the chief executive officer of Virgin Australia. "Our new business and economy class has been designed from the ground up by experts in their fields. We have listened to what today’s traveller wants from an airline and we are incorporating that into every feature and every part of our service, while maintaining competitive pricing."

The Airbus A330-200 has the largest business class cabin in the carrier's fleet, as it is equipped with 27 premium seats. These seats are made of leather and feature a 62-inch seat pitch, a figure that reflects the distance between seatbacks in adjacent rows. Travelers flying in this premium section can take advantage of an innovative in-flight entertainment system, and they will also receive toiletries from Bvlgari, plush blankets, pillows and noise-canceling headphones.

On the Boeing 737-800, passengers flying in the 8-seat business class cabin will enjoy many of the same amenities. The jet is also equipped with Boeing's Sky Interior, which helps make the cabin feel brighter and more spacious. According to the source, this jet is expected to make up the majority of Virgin Australia's domestic fleet by the end of 2011.

All business class travelers flying on Virgin Australia will be able to enjoy dishes created by Luke Mangan, one of the country's most famous chefs. In addition, they can also drink fine wine, beer, spirits, champagne or barista-style coffee.

Virgin Australia primarily flies to domestic destinations within the country, but American passengers can take advantage of the rebranded carrier's upgraded service on a flight from Los Angeles operated by V Australia, the airline's international subsidiary.

By Christopher Straub

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