Virgin Australia Introduces L.A.-Melbourne Flights
On April 4, Virgin Australia, the long-haul airline whose first-ever commercial flight landed in Los Angeles in 2009, will expand its service between Los Angeles International Airport and Australia, by adding Melbourne as its newest port. The airline will operate five services per week.
The route will feature the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, whose business-class, named ‘The Business’, includes a dedicated business-class bar that can accommodate up to 10 passengers at a time. AirlineRatings.com named Virgin Australia’s ‘The Business’ the world’s best business class in 2016.
The Boeing aircraft on the Los Angeles-Melbourne route also features a “Premium” cabin (formerly Premium Economy) that includes a cocktail service and movie snacks served each hour, as well as wines from the carrier’s business-class cellar and amenity packs that include skincare products, blankets and pillows. It also features more legroom than any other Australian airline flying from Australia to the United States.
Los Angeles holds a special place for Virgin Australia, whose first-ever flight in February 2009 departed from Sydney landed at Los Angeles International Airport. The occasion was commemorated with a landing party at LAX that included Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, Australia-born actor Jesse Spencer (from the TV show “House”), then-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the USC Marching Band. The carrier followed up those festivities with a celebrity fundraising party at West Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont. That year, Virgin Australia also added Los Angeles routes to Brisbane and Melbourne, with that route featuring new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Since then, the carrier has won a slew of awards. In 2015, the Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program won “Best Frequent Flyer Scheme” at the 2015 Australian Business Traveller Awards. That year, Virgin Australia was named “Best Airline Staff Service” at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, marking the fifth consecutive year the carrier won that honor.
Last year, Virgin Australia expanded ‘The Business’ to its entire wide-body fleet of Boeing 777 and Airbus A330-200 aircraft. All of the aircraft have a 1-2-1 layout in each row, giving all business-class passengers direct aisle access. In addition to providing business-class passengers with “suite” seating that includes individual side-console areas for workspace and storage use, ‘The Business’ features seats that can convert to lie-flat beds that are 80 inches long, or the length of a queen-size bed. ‘The Business’ on the Boeing 777 aircraft also feature 18-inch high-definition touch screens, making them the largest among any carrier flying between Australia and North America.
Virgin Australia’s alliance partnership with Delta Air Lines opens up 250 destinations across North and Central America for travellers and allows for seamless travel and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits and recognition The carrier, Australia’s second-largest behind Qantas, boosted revenue by 5.7% for the year ended June 30, 2016.