Virgin Australia today launched flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles, bringing the world’s best Business Class, ‘The Business’, to the route for the first time.
Flight VA23, operated by the airline’s flagship Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, departed Melbourne at 11.30am and will land in Los Angeles at 9am, meaning both business and leisure travellers can enjoy a full day on the ground.
Virgin Australia created a buzz at Melbourne International Airport ahead of the inaugural flight, with an American-themed marching band entertaining passengers at the check-in hall, cupcakes and LAX Duty Free vouchers handed out for all passengers boarding the flight.
On board the inaugural flight, Hershey’s milk chocolate bars and Budweiser beer was available to all guests, while Business Class passengers were offered Pumpkin Pie served with Crème Fraiche for dessert.
Group Executive Virgin Australia Airlines, John Thomas said: “We are delighted to commence services between Melbourne and Los Angeles today, bringing the Virgin Australia flair and sophistication to this route.
“Los Angeles and North America is an important market for us and through our partnership with Delta Air Lines, we offer passengers 25 return flights per week across the Pacific and remain the only trans-Pacific alliance to offer Business Class guests lie flat beds with direct aisle access on all services. Delta will also codeshare on our Melbourne services, and passengers can earn Velocity Points and Status Credits, have their baggage checked through and enjoy reciprocal frequent flyer benefits on the ground,” Mr Thomas said.
Friend of Virgin Australia and Melbourne local, Dannii Minogue, was there to celebrate the launch before boarding the flight. Ms Minogue said: “Virgin Australia is my favourite way to fly to the US and I’m absolutely thrilled they’re bringing their renowned service to my hometown of Melbourne.
“When you step on board ‘The Business’ you can see why it was voted the best in the world, but Virgin Australia makes you feel like a VIP no matter which cabin you’re in. The crew are always so friendly and helpful especially when travelling as a family. I’ll certainly be taking this trip regularly with Virgin Australia,” Ms Minogue said.
To celebrate, the Virgin Australia Melbourne Domestic Lounge will be serving Budweiser beer and offering the following delicious American-themed food until Friday 7 April:
✈ Hot cakes with streaky bacon, maple syrup and potato hash
✈ Frosty Flakes breakfast cereal
✈ Bagels with cream cheese
Lunch & Dinner
✈ American cheese burgers with fries and ketchup
✈ Caesar and cobb salads with blue cheese and ranch dressings
✈ Shrimp chowder served with crusty bread
✈ Krispy Kreme Donuts
Key features of ‘The Business’ on Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft:
✈ 37 individual and private suites that convert into the length of a queen size bed at 80 inches;
✈ Reverse herringbone cabin layout, maximising privacy and enabling 100 per cent direct aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration;
✈ Generous side console area providing ample space to work, multitask and store personal items, with the addition of a bedside amenity nook for easy access while resting;
✈ Customised triple-layer seat cushion supported by a hammock sub-frame and a turndown service with memory foam mattress toppers and high-grade cotton pillows and doonas;
✈ The largest in-flight entertainment screen flying between Australia and North America, with an 18-inch High Definition touch screen;
✈ Dedicated Business Class Bar which caters for up to 10 people and features a premium beverage offering, accompanied by a tapas menu;
✈ Luke Mangan-designed menus paired with premium wines and delivered in a fine dining experience tailored to our guests’ needs through à la carte or Express Dining options;
✈ Signature Service elements designed to enhance Virgin Australia’s award-winning service, including a Cocktail and Canapé Service with a choice of Bellini, Kir Royale or Mimosa along with a Luke Mangan-designed canapé plate;
✈ Virgin Australia’s world-first partnership with Nespresso to be served in ‘The Business’ and at the Business Class Bar.
Virgin Australia’s Premium cabin is available on the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and features:
✈ More legroom than any other Australian airline with a seat pitch of 41 inches;
✈ An exclusive and intimate cabin size of 24 seats with dedicated Business Class-trained crew;
✈ A roomy 19.5 inch seat width with nine inches of recline;
✈ Plated meal services inspired by Business Class, served on Business class crockery and accompanied by a selection of wines from our Business Class cellar; and
✈ Nespresso coffee and Madame Flavour Tea along with a Premium Pantry for exclusive use by our Premium guests during the flight.