In 2000, the Virgin brand entered the Australian aviation market for the first time, becoming a new competitor in the leisure sector of the market.
Virgin Australia was originally launched as Virgin Blue in August 2000. The low-cost carrier started operating domestic flights from Brisbane to Sydney, followed by Melbourne and Adelaide using B737 aircraft.
In 2011, it was transformed to a full-service airline and changed its name to Virgin Australia.
More recently, the airline sold a 13 per cent stake to HNA Aviation group. The A$159 million (US$114 million) deal will see direct flights launched between China and Australia, as well as codesharing routes and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits for customers.
Based in Brisbane. It has also set up hubs in Melbourne and Sydney.
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*As of June 2016
Virgin Australia has a wide air network, and is continuously expanding.
Virgin Australia resumed a non-stop service between Melbourne and Los Angeles this month, operated by a 339-seat B777-300ER.
The airline is also launching a new route between Melbourne and Hong Kong on July 5 this year, which will be served by an A330-200, featuring its new “The Business” suite.
Loyalty programme benefits
The airline’s Velocity Frequent Flyer members will enjoy a frequent flyer partnership with Fortune Wings Club, including the opportunity to earn Points and Status Credit on alliance routes, and reciprocal access to tier status benefits including lounge access, priority check-in, priority boarding and additional baggage allowances. Further details of the frequent flyer partnership will be released in coming months.
The airline operates many codeshares to destinations in China and Europe, among others. Subject to regulatory approval, Virgin Australia will implement codeshare (VA*) on services operated by Hong Kong Airlines, Hainan Airlines and other HNA Aviation airlines on journeys between Australia and mainland China and between Australia and Hong Kong.
Customers of Beijing Capital Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Tianjin Airlines will be able to book travel on Virgin Australia’s domestic and trans-Tasman network.
Other airline partners
Air New Zealand, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Airberlin, Alitalia, Hawaiian Airlines, South African Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, Virgin Samoa, Aeromexico, Air Serbia, Bangkok Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Silkair and Westjet.