Branson is to embark on a global search for a lookalike this weekend, to celebrate
the fact that passengers will be able to travel around the world using only Virgin
V Australia (the
international arm of Australian carrier Virgin Blue, in which Virgin Atlantic
is a shareholder ) will launch its Sydney to LA service on February 27, a move
that will create the final link in a chain enabling passengers to fly around
the world using Virgin carriers.
It’s not as pure
a round-the-world product as Air New Zealand, which offers a London-Hong Kong-Auckland-Los Angeles-London routing all under the
ANZ livery, but nonetheless Virgin passengers will soon be able to
circumnavigate the globe using a mixture of “Virgin” airlines.
travellers can begin their flight with Virgin Atlantic, flying to Sydney (via
Hong Kong), where they will be able to pick up the new V Australia route to LA.
From there passengers can either take a direct flight with Virgin Atlantic back
to London, or fly with Virgin America to New York, before boarding a return
flight with Virgin Atlantic to London.
V Australia had
originally been due to launch in December, but the strike at Boeing’s Seattle
factory meant delivery of its new aircraft could not be guaranteed (see online
news October 5, 2008). To celebrate V Australia’s launch Sir Richard Branson is
to set off on an eight-day round-the-world trip on Virgin-only airlines, in
search of the best Richard lookalike in the world.
Report by Mark