Virgin Blue will drop the ‘Blue’ from its name when it unveils a new brand within the next four months.
The move is a cornerstone in Virgin Blue CEO John Borghetti’s push to take the airline up-market and win more of Australia’s business travel market.
Hans Hulsbosch, Virgin Blue’s creative director and the man behind the new image, told The Australian that while the Virgin brand would continue to anchor the airline, Blue would no longer be part of the brand.
“There is a name change and that will be exciting” said Hulsbosch, who previously redesigned Qantas’ corporate identity and modernised the iconic flying kangaroo logo.
The new name will also unify Virgin Blue’s three international arms of V Australia, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue.
However, exactly what the new brand will be remains literally up in the air.
Virgin Australia is the front-runner, as it leverages the powerhouse Virgin name.
The only catch is that Singapore Airlines, with its 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic, has the final say over use of the Virgin name on international routes (hence why none of Virgin Blue’s three overseas services carry the familiar Virgin moniker).
That said, there’s also an outside chance that the association between Virgin and the big red stylised V could be strong enough – and sufficiently reinforced by advertising – to make V Australia the new unified brand for domestic as well as international services.
Coverage of Virgin Blue's overhaul
Australian Business Traveller's comprehensive coverage of Virgin Blue's recent renewal also includes:
- New business class seats to launch in May on Sydney-Perth flights with 62 inches of legroom and seat-back video screens
- Virgin Blue to open three new domestic lounges, as well as upgrading the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane lounges, with Sydney getting a special fast-track lounge for premium passengers
- CEO John Borghetti says inflight Internet will be available as soon as possible, likely within 2 - 3 years
- The Velocity Rewards programme is set for an extensive overhaul, including a points tie-up with Etihad
- Stylish new uniforms for Virgin Blue flight attendants and crew which play up the airline’s palette of red, silver and purple
- V Australia launches regular direct services to Abu Dhabi with onwards connections via its partner airline Etihad