Inside the launch: A taster of Virgin Australia's big day

By John Walton, May 4 2011
Inside the launch: A taster of Virgin Australia's big day

The Virgin Australia launch party has been a huge spectacle, with brand new planes in a brand new paint scheme, Sir Richard Branson and John Borghetti, a special inflatable press conference tent on Sydney Airport's taxiways, and so much more.

With Australian Business Traveller staff all over the Virgin Australia launch, here's just a taster of the day that Virgin Blue, V Australia, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue turned into Virgin Australia.

First to be seen this morning was the enormous inflatable Virgin Australia press tent.

Inside the tent awaited the podium and -- just in case you'd forgotten -- 51 of the new Virgin Australia logos.

Fortunately, Virgin Australia provided a wide variety of on-brand colour-matched drinks for refreshment purposes.

Outside the tent, the new Coast-to-Coast Airbus A330 "Cable Beach" swung past the Boeing 737-800 "Bondi Beach" to release its passengers, fresh from the paint shop and ad shoots in Malaysia and China, while sister 737s continued to land overhead.

With the A330's crew awaiting them on the steps, "Virgin Australia Airlines' first ever CEO" John Borghetti emerged with Sir Richard Branson, waving large Australian flags. 

In a classy move, Branson and Borghetti greeted and shook hands with each of the Virgin Australia staffers lined up on the red carpet.

And then, of course, it was time for a brief photo-op by the red carpet before moving back to the plane.

It was thumbs up all round for the new brand and paint job from Branson, Borghetti and crew.

Virgin Australia got off to a flying start this morning, and there's more to come -- press conferences, on-board walkthroughs, in-depth interviews and more.

This is just part of Australian Business Traveller's comprehensive coverage of Virgin Australia's launch day:

For the very latest, check back at or follow us on Twitter: @AusBT.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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