V Australia, the forthcoming
international arm of the Virgin Blue Group, has delayed its December launch due
to a strike at Boeing’s Seattle factory.
The carrier had
been due to commence direct flights from Sydney to Los Angeles on December 15,
but the continuing workers’ strike means Boeing can no longer guarantee the
delivery of its aircraft in time. V Australia has three Boeing 777-300ER
aircraft “in advanced stage of production” at the factory in Seattle.
As a result the
airline has pushed back its launch until Feburay 28, just days before it is due
to commence a second route from Brisbane to LA. V Australia is in the process
of contacting customers who had booked flights over the Christmas and New Year
period, and says that if the industrial dispute is resolved “in the short term”,
it will “move swiftly to bring forward V Australia’s
V Australia was formed following an Open
Skies agreement between the US
and will offer a three-class economy, premium economy and business product across
The Boeing strike (involving members of the
company’s International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers), has
been going for over a month now, and has also led to low-cost carrier Ryanair cancelling
flights on 21 routes to and from Birmingham due to the delayed delivery of
Boeing 737 aircraft.
Report by Mark Caswell