V Australia begins direct flights between Sydney and Abu Dhabi from today, making it the first Australian airline with a dedicated Middle East service for over 20 years.
Virgin Blue Group CEO John Borghetti said this week’s launch would be followed in February 2102 by thrice-weekly services between Brisbane and Abu Dhabi.
“Australian travellers will now be able to fly one stop to more than 14 destinations in the UK and Europe, including daily flights to European cities, and avoid going through Heathrow.”
Today’s departure of Virgin Australia flight VA29 to Abu Dhabi is the first fruit of the alliance between Virgin Blue and Etihad, which Etihad CEO James Hogan happily boasts as being “the fastest growing airline in the world, with Abu Dhabi truly becoming the crossroads of the Middle East.”
The outbound VA29 to Abu Dhabi will depart Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 4.05pm, with the return VA30 service departing Abu Dhabi on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10.45am.
The flights will be serviced by V Australia’s Boeing 777-300ERs with international business, premium economy and economy class.
Business-class seats are a fully horizontal 1.88 metre bed with 77 inches of legroom and a 12.1 inch in-seat screen.
Premium economy passengers get 20 inch wide seats with 38 inches of legroom, a 10.6-inch screen and access to a self-service bar.
In economy things scale back to 32 inches of legroom and a 9 inch screen, although extra legroom is available for $150 per flight.