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V Australia to make inaugural flight

Sir Richard Branson joins flight
Plane at takeoff

February 27, 2009

Australia's newest international airline, V Australia, is set to take flight today, with the first scheduled service departing from Sydney.

The historic launch of V Australia was made possible following the signing of an open skies agreement concluded between the Federal Governments of Australia and the USA last year. V Australia had lobbied for permission to operate trans-Pacific flights in order to open up travel between the countries.

The move echoed the work of Virgin Blue domestically and Pacific Blue on trans-Tasman routes.

Virgin Group chairman Sir Richard Branson, who will be aboard the inaugural flight, said: "Almost ten years ago the Virgin Blue team revolutionised travel in this market, they brought back a sense of fun and flair to flying again and made travel much more accessible thanks to its low fares. It's a true example of the benefits of competition and the Virgin Blue and V Australia teams who have already done a wonderful job of bringing fares to the USA tumbling down, and I have no doubt they will continue to do so.

"This will bring tangible benefits to the tourism industry and to businesses at a time when it is most needed."

V Australia's launch flight will operate from Sydney to Los Angeles, with three flights a week from today, before increasing to a daily basis from March 20. The carrier will also launch direct flights between Brisbane and Los Angeles and Melbourne and Los Angeles and recently confirmed it has set its sights on launching its next route from Australia to South Africa.

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