Ceremony in Perth follows Skywest merger
Virgin Australia has continued its assault on the Australian air travel market as CEO Sir Richard Branson flew in to Perth on May 7 to launch Virgin Australia’s new regional carrier, aptly named Virgin Australia Regional Airlines.
The British business magnate has seen the Australasian arm of his global carrier go from strength to strength since its inception in 2000. The acquisition of Skywest Airlines in April has led the way for its entry into Australia’s regional sector.
Virgin Australia Regional Airlines will serve 41 destinations across Australia and operate 800 flights a week.
Branson was his usual charismatic self as he taxied a plane complete with the new livery to the edge of the red carpet, waving a West Australian flag from the window of the cockpit. Once on the ground, he and Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti outlined their plans to take the fight to market leader Qantas with fares that could be 20% cheaper.
The first three newly rebranded aircraft from the Skywest fleet were on hand in Perth, where the airline will be based. They will be joined by 29 more of varying shapes and sizes as Virgin looks set to offer stiff competition across the board, which can only be good for the consumer.