Virgin Australia is relaunching its Polynesian Blue operation as Virgin Samoa, with an upgraded interior and a new aircraft paintjob promised in "the first quarter of the 2012 calendar year".
Samoa's national airline -- formed in 2005 by a joint venture between the then-Virgin Blue and the Samoan Government -- will have "a new level of professionalism for our national airline; a new style; of which the people of Samoa can be proud" according to Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.
Keep an eye out for the new aircraft livery on the airline's plane -- yes, plane: just one Boeing 737-800 comprises the Virgin Samoa fleet.
Virgin Samoa's CEO Mark Pitt is keen on the "fresh, contemporary and sophisticated look, consistent with its partner Virgin Australia but with a uniquely Samoan flavour."
Those elements, which you can see more clearly in the enlarged photo below, include as a palm tree motif on the fuselage; the words “airline of Samoa” under the window line near the front doors; and a specially designed 'tatau' pattern on the engines.
Here's that tatau pattern up close:
Inside, it's similar to the new Virgin Australia setup:
The crew wear Virgin Australia-style uniforms, designed by Juli Grbac...
...although there are subtle Samoan-influenced ties and scarves:
Virgin Australia's long-haul airline V Australia and trans-Tasman/Pacific Island operation Pacific Blue will be folded into the Virgin Australia brand by the end of this month, and Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti has revealed more plans for 2012, including signature lounges in Sydney, Gold Coast and Mackay and upgraded aircraft.