Less than six weeks after it first took to the skies, Australia's newest international airline, V Australia launched its second route, linking California to Australia's Sunshine State with the departure of the inaugural service between Los Angeles and Brisbane, Australia.
The long haul boutique style airline introduces the new three weekly flights, hot on the heels of the recently launched daily nonstop Los Angeles – Sydney service.
In the past few weeks since its inception, V Australia has received resounding support both for its in-flight services, products and people, as well as the affordable fares it introduced in to the market. Compared to the same time last year, trans-Pacific fares have dropped 54%, a direct result of competition and a new player in the game.
Virgin Blue Group Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey said, "We are again pleased to be a catalyst for more affordable air fares on this previously duopolistic market. Already we are aware of people who have now flown V Australia between the US and Australia, be it for business or pleasure, who up until now, weren't able to do so. We are very proud of that ."
He added, "While it's early days, V Australia is performing to our expectations and based on feedback to date, exceeding those of our guests."
The airline spent two years developing and tweaking V Australia's in-flight product to ensure it provided innovations, little "Virgin" style touches and high quality service to appeal to all travelers. Among them are complimentary business class 'flip flops', generous seating, lie-flat beds and state-of-the-art personal touch screen in-flight entertainment. It was all designed following feedback from flyers that when traveling on long haul flights the most important desirability's were personal space, quality of meals and being entertained.
One of the other key factors for travelers is the convenience of direct services and today, the V Australia team is excited to add a second non-stop trans-Pacific service to its route network, with Brisbane chosen as the next destination to get the direct US link.
Godfrey said, "Brisbane is our airline group's home base, our roots are here and we know the city of Brisbane and the state of Queensland has a lot to offer American travelers and we're especially pleased to be bringing a new level of affordability and service to the trans-Pacific route."
Onboard the inaugural flight to Brisbane were US-based travel media, travel agents and corporate guests as part of a campaign to raise awareness of Queensland's accessibility, tourism delights and affordability.
V Australia is also working closely with California Tourism to further develop opportunities through trade and tourism to the USA.
Godfrey continued, "This is a terrific opportunity for us as an airline to work hand in hand with our tourism partners to provide a stimulus at a time when it is needed most.
"The Australian dollar also provides US travelers with a great exchange rate which translates to more bucks in their swim trunks and given Brisbane is a hub for connecting flights to the world famous Whitsunday region as well as further north to Cairns and beyond, there is plenty of opportunity for onward travel throughout Queensland and Australia."
V Australia will be only the second airline to offer direct flights from Los Angeles to Brisbane and with a departure time of 10.30pm and arrival time in Brisbane of 5.25am.
V Australia LAX-BNE fares start from $530* for a return economy flight, $1849 for a Premium Economy return flight and $5199* for a Business Class return flight.
For V Australia bookings, go to www.vaustralia.com, call 1-800-444-0260 or contact your local travel agent.
* All fares are for flights booked on the internet or USD$15 more when booked by phone. Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak times. For V Australia bookings log on to www.vaustralia.com or phone our Guest Contact Centre on 1800 444 0260 or contact a travel agent. Fares displayed are round trip fares and exclude government-imposed taxes, fees and the September 11th Security Fee (collectively between $100-$250 depending on routing). Prices are in US dollars and include applicable fuel surcharges. Fares are current as at April 8, 2009, are subject to availability and may vary until ticketed. Seats are limited and may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are refundable ($500 refund fee applies). No stopovers are permitted. Connecting flights between Sydney and other Australian domestic ports are operated by Virgin Blue Airlines. Any Australian domestic travel can be booked through Virgin Blue Airlines. No minimum stay is required.
^ source: Qantas Red-E Email communication. The best Qantas fare on offer on the 31st March 2008 between Sydney and LA was $2146, more than double the fare available today.