Virgin Australia postpones launch of “a new era of flying”

Just what does the challenger have up its sleeve?

By David Flynn, May 18 2022
Virgin Australia postpones launch of “a new era of flying”

Virgin Australia has called off what it promised as “one of the most exciting and unique aviation events of 2022.”

The airline recently sent out invitations for a special event at Virgin’s Brisbane Airport hangar to be held late next week “to celebrate a new era of flying”, sparking a wave of speculation as to what the challenger had up its sleeve.

While hinting at a social media play, suggesting that attendees "Get your Gram ready as this is one you won’t want to miss”, the airline otherwise kept its powder dry.

And things will remain shtum for a while longer: Virgin this afternoon said it had “made the difficult decision to postpone our celebration... as a precautionary measure due to the rising COVID case numbers in some states and territories, coupled with a spike in flu cases.”

“We look forward to holding the event in the coming months at a more appropriate time and we will be in touch with more information in due course.”

This speed bump aside, there’s no denying that Virgin Australia is flying high right now.

Fresh partnerships with United Airlines and Qatar Airways are taking wing – there’s a new Velocity Business Flyer scheme and elite Beyond VIP tier – inter-city business class fares have hit a new level of affordability at $299 – Velocity Points can once again be used to book reward seats on Singapore Airlines – and the countdown is on for the delivery of the airline’s first Boeing 737 MAX jet in February 23.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 779

Hanger Event means a new Plane, new Business Seats

Part of the Qatar deal is they get supplied planes as well, one side painted VA the other side painted Qatar.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2016

Total posts 14

New logo and livery - Retro style.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 May 2013

Total posts 64

Whatever it might be, Virgin seem to be heading in the right direction. It looks like they have worked out where they fit and what will work for them. Let's hope they continue to grow and provide a great travel experience.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 348

I have been super impressed with VA 2.0. They are hitting the mark on so many occasions, with the best thing being their super competitive business class airfares and family pooling.

As a previously rusted on QF loyalist, it is safe to say I am checking both airlines when booking flights.

As for next weeks announcement. My guess would be the reintroduction of flights to NZ and as a long shot, acquisition of some wide-bodied jets for flights to LA and Tokyo (yes I know this is unlikely, but I am hopeful).

Competition is great!!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Sep 2018

Total posts 15

Star Alliance partnership announcement would be nice!!!

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

I am impressed by the business discipline VA has shown as they stick to the model Bain obviously devised when it was acquired.  Whatever is announced, I don't think it will move too far away from the existing model as cost control is paramount.  

That means there is little to no chance of a widebody announcement, only a slim chance of Star Alliance unless Star has agreed to super-low entry fee, maybe a special livery, maybe rollout of new seating as trialled on the ex-Silkair birds.  I guess WIFI could be making a comeback too but I don't think that is very "Instagrammable."

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 316

Virgin Australia alluded to something being instagrammable and photos, so my tip is likely to be refreshed J and Y cabins being applied across the entire existing mainline fleet and/or special livery/ies.

26 Jul 2015

Total posts 72

I'd be happy if they would open the Premium Entry and Valet parking again.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Jan 2019

Total posts 3

I’m guessing it’s to do with the Max rollout and the new business seating 

Etihad - Etihad Guest

06 Apr 2012

Total posts 118

That would be my guess as well.   Firing up the PR machine to attract positive media attention (similar to what Qantas has been doing with the media launches touting Project Sunrise and Points Planes over the last 2 weeks).  Don't want your competitor hogging all the media spotlight.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 323

Especially when many wont want the Sunrise travel - I could think of nothing worse than continuous 19 or 20 hours, even in First.  Segmental travel allows fresh air, real food, exercise etc.  And if you were really in such a rush, you would be flying Private anyway.. 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 503

Can someone explain to me why international airlines want to partner with VA outside star alliance or other air groups?

All I see is that international airlines has more to lose than VA in terms of redeeming points and providing privileges including lounge, unless VA includes some cash with those deal.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

09 Jun 2016

Total posts 14

My guess- it extends these international carriers reach in Australia by leveraging the VA network in AUS. Qatar can fly to the major capitals, VA picks up from there and takes passengers to secondary cities.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2018

Total posts 23

It’s just terrible now more like Jetstar for economy and business is Qantas economy. The ground staff are horrendous also I have travelled a lot in the past 5 months only tolerable for flights up to 2hours.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 348

VA Business like Qantas economy, you are kidding.

Apart from Wi-Fi and a 'dinner' service on Qantas, I am struggling to see any difference (apart from the cost) between the two in economy to be honest, especially when flying mid morning/mid afternoon (before beer and wine is being offered) where the only difference is a biscuit/soft drink on Qantas.

Also, if you book earlier enough, generally 4-6 weeks before travel, you are getting business class fares for under $300 on VA.

26 Sep 2019

Total posts 3

Comparing QF staff to VA staff? VA is more down to earth and consistent. I did not expect that in this incarnation. I thought they would fail. There are always exceptions in all camps, when it comes to poor outcomes.

11 May 2022

Total posts 2

Most likely-

New Livery, New uniforms, maybe a few new products.

Less likely-

New business seats/max 10 seats, wide body jets. 

Would be nice though! 

01 Aug 2019

Total posts 15

maybe new uniforms for all staff to fit with the new VA?? new livery on an aircraft with united and qater branding. but I would say my a demo of 737 max coming in VA colours mind boggles 

07 May 2015

Total posts 30

Speculation on "new livery" is interesting, obviously an event in a hangar will probably involve a plane and maybe some products, eg a glimpse of new business and economy seats. But I don't know why Virgin would want to change its livery?

Yes, the 'old' Virgin logo and livery has been around for a decade, ever since John Borghetti took over and changed the airline from Virgin Blue, but this change in name and branding made a new livery essential.

I didn't think Virgin or rather its owners Bain would consider the huge cost of a new livery to be a smart way to spend their money. It's not an investment in anything significant or with a tangible return so there is zero impact on the bottom line, unless they are still paying a high annual fee to Holbosch who designed the current livery? But somebody would have to design the new livery plus there's the cost of repainting all the jets, so this whole exercise would cost a lot of money.

I suppose this alone would give Virgin some "free" publicity on TV, newspapers etc but is that really worth it?

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

There may be a special livery but I doubt that there will be a complete livery refresh.  There definitely won't be a change to the Virgin logo which isn't VA's to touch anyway.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

International re-launch.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 569

That would be nice, but a more urgent priority would be to offer an international lounge at BNE, SYD and MEL - even if only by association with a third party provider.  At the moment there's nothing at BNE International Terminal (not even an airside shuttle bus from their lounge at the domestic terminal !!!).  

C'mon Jayne - think ... think ... tick ... tock ...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 8

I’ll echo one of the previous comments

Premium entry and re-boot the valet parking

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

They may come back but it is not "grammable" and does not need to be relaunched in a hangar.

11 May 2022

Total posts 2

Wish we could set up a bet haha

26 May 2016

Total posts 19

A hanger event to usher in a new era of flying has to got to be plane related. Im really hoping for new wide bodies to assist United the same way Virgin assisted Delta with that partnership. The transpacific routes are such a big market and was fruitful for Virgin in the past.  

The branding, livery, uniform direction does not really account for 'a new era of flying'. However, Bain promised significant investment in technology and now that all the ducks are lining up (restoration on international partners) maybe they are ready to launch a new app/website also maybe. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2015

Total posts 53

A VA 777 was ferried from storage in WTB to BNE yesterday and it's still there....maybe on its way to the desert? Maybe not? 

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 779

Just read a report a VA 777-300er came out of storage and is now at Brisbane Airport

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

12 May 2022

Total posts 2

That was purely for maintenance reasons apparently.  Their 'fuel hungry' 777's are up for sale according to Exec Traveller.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

It is now flying across the Pacific at a reduced altitude suggesting it has a fault which is unlikely getting fixed as the plane involved is probably heading to the scrappers anyway.  

Remember VA does not control the 777s.  They were surrendered to their mortgagor as part of the administration process.

13 May 2022

Total posts 1

Cabin Crew have been told the launch of flights to LA on the 777 and also Bali both by September  😎

How I hope that's true!

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 779

No way am I doing Bali on a 737 and there are better options for LA these days than a 777-300er.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 569

. . . but you forget, Messier, that their 777-300s have a bar on board !!  Cheers.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 356

And a 3-3-3 config in economy - the best in the sky!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jul 2017

Total posts 26

Boeing Tragic

Must admit I am with you and a Boeing Tragic. However the777 with Emirates is awesome in F. And AJ is very happy with his New Airbus deal and there will be issues to follow. The new extended range 321 facing hurdles already with Airbus placing fuel below the cabin. Great result for a belly landing.  And of course AJ will have to repaint his A350's every few years with paint peeling problems experienced by many airlines. Thankfully my flying o/s is reducing with my increasing age. However if I do travel it will be with other airlines so I can avoid the Airbus crap. Tracing their history isn't good. You be well now.  Don R

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

I believe Bali is already in the schedule before the June school holidays so September seems a strange announcement.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

12 May 2022

Total posts 2

There must be some more accurate insider info leaking on this event now, anyone? :)

26 Oct 2018

Total posts 1

No, but I can repeat the same conjecture as above while pretending I know what I’m talking about?

Bio Fuel was in the wings from a voice from the Beyond

10 Aug 2018

Total posts 2

Puppies on planes.


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