The Government of Samoa and joint venture partner, Virgin Australia group of airlines, today unveiled a new brand and livery for the country’s national airline – Virgin Samoa.
The Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa, said: “Our vision when entering our Polynesian Blue joint venture in 2005 was to create a national airline that would be financially strong and that would provide growth opportunities and financial stability for our country. We have achieved these goals.”
“Today our vision is to bring a new level of service and style to our guests as we partner in the evolution of Virgin Australia. This name and branding provides a new level of professionalism for our national airline; a new style; of which the people of Samoa can be proud.”
New Virgin Samoa Boeing 737 livery
Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Samoa (formerly Polynesian Blue), Mark Pitt, said the new brand and aircraft livery delivers a fresh, contemporary and sophisticated look, consistent with its partner Virgin Australia but with a uniquely Samoan flavour; featuring elements such 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.
“Samoan master tattooist, Tuifa’asisina Tulouena Sua, originally developed this unique design to represent the coming together of Polynesian Airlines and Virgin Australia to form Polynesian Blue. As we now move into an even brighter future together as Virgin Samoa we felt it important to include a respectful reference to our culture and our past,” Mr Pitt said.
Engine featuring the Virgin Samoa tatau
“I am confident our new brand, working with the strength of our airline partners, will significantly raise our profile with travellers all over the world; and that over time this will contribute to growth in passenger volume. The significance of this change cannot be understated in terms of the lift it will give to the airline’s future.”
“More importantly, the new Virgin Samoa name and aircraft livery will increase the airline’s visibility in the eyes of local Samoans and those living abroad, as Samoa’s national flag carrier.”
Virgin Samoa’s aircraft, named Tapu’itea, will enter into service in its new livery and with an upgraded interior the first quarter of the 2012 calendar year.
The launch of the Virgin Samoa brand comes at the same time as the airlines formerly known as Pacific Blue and V Australia adopt the Virgin Australia brand; merging what was three separate airline brands into a single consistent identity as Virgin Australia.
Today has seen our proposed alliance with Singapore Airlines been granted final ACCC approval.
This represents the final regulatory approval needed for the airlines to proceed with a wide-ranging alliance. This includes providing guests with an expanded network of destinations, seamless connections, a more convenient flight schedule and more opportunities to earn frequent flyer points and access lounges.
Virgin Australia group of airlines CEO John Borghetti said:
“This is excellent news for Australian travellers as it provides our guests with access to around 70 additional destinations across Asia, India and Africa, with one of the best airlines in the world. “The alliance will also be positive for tourism in Australia, as it will enable us to provide Singapore Airlines’ customers with seamless travel through to over 30 destinations around Australia and we will jointly promote these destinations”, Mr Borghetti said.
By the end of the year Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines will launch reciprocal frequent flyer benefits. Velocity Frequent Flyer members will be able to earn and redeem Frequent Flyer Points and Status Credits on Singapore Airlines operated flights. We expect to launch the reciprocal codeshare early next year.
Virgin Australia will now be able to offer global flight coverage through alliances with Etihad Airways, Air New Zealand, Delta Air Lines and Singapore Airlines, increasing its international reach from around 60 destinations to over 400 destinations worldwide.
Does this finalised news or the Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines alliance excite you as a frequent flyer? Will you be taking advantage of the combined benefits?
Virgin Australia and Westfield today launched an Australian first partnership that will enable Members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Points online with Australia’s largest shopping centre group, creating the widest retail offering of any frequent flyer program in Australia.
With Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program, which is free to join, Members can earn and redeem Points online at westfield.com.au, which provides access to over 160 stores and 3,000 brands from Australia’s leading designers to high street stores. With over 10,000 items on sale every day and free shipping on all fashion and accessories1, Members of Velocity Frequent Flyer Members will experience excellent value when shopping on westfield.com.au.
The Westfield Online and Velocity Frequent Flyer partnership is excellent news for shoppers in the lead up to the festive season, allowing Members to redeem Velocity Points for Christmas presents or shop the Boxing Day sales at all stores on westfield.com.au including retailers such as Glue Store, Jeanswest, Saba, Sheike, Peep Toe, Novo, JB Hi-Fi, Teds Cameras, Napoleon Perdis, Ben Sherman, Supre and Charlie Brown. Recently westfield.com.au also introduced The Designer Collection featuring curated collections in “pop-up” boutiques from leading Australian designer brands including Sass & Bide, Ksubi, Ginger & Smart, Leona Edmiston, Little Joe, Farage, Thurley, Lisa Ho, Dion Lee, Alex Perry and Ellery.
Velocity Frequent Flyer members will earn 2 Velocity Points per dollar spent on westfield.com.au and to celebrate the launch of the new partnership, they will earn 4 Points per dollar spent until 31 December 2011.
For more information on this partnership visit this link. If you aren’t yet a member of Velocity frequent Flyer, it is free to join, visit the website here. To become a member of Westfield, visit their website here.
Does the idea of being rewarded with points when you are shopping, excite you to join and try?
An eagle-eyed Virgin Australia follower has picked up that the recent construction at the Gold Coast (OOL) Airport is for our new Lounge!
Announced earlier this year, the Lounge will join a list that includes the recently redesigned and renovated Melbourne and Brisbane Lounges, as well as Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, and Canberra.
Designed by renowned architect Tim Greer of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, the Lounge will be a key tool to providing an improved experience for those Guests visiting an important tourism destination such as the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast Lounge
The Lounge will be completed in 2012.
Are you excited by this addition to our Lounge network? Will you make good use of the Lounge?
Research released today by Virgin Australia shows that over the next few days, baggage carousels will be filled with up to 40,000 hats and over 55,000 lip glosses, which will be flown especially to Melbourne for The Cup and the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival.
With most believing that the Spring Racing Carnival is more about the social occasion, champagne and fashion (74%) than the racing (22%), it’s no wonder that getting their luggage there on time and intact is a top priority. Virgin Australia’s research revealed that the baggage carousels may be filled with an estimated $40 million worth of luggage this racing season.
Nikki Phillips flying with Virgin Australia to Melbourne's Spring Racing Carnival
Virgin Australia Group Executive Corporate Communications, Danielle Keighery said the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival is a positive boost for the Australian economy and the tourism industry in general.
“The Victorian Spring Racing Carnival has developed a reputation as one of the most important events on the sporting calendar, attracting domestic and international visitors alike. Last year, the carnival generated $728 million for the Australian economy, with a similar contribution expected this year”.
“We are committed to supporting the Australian tourism industry and will be putting on 36 additional flights into and out of Melbourne over the key racing period. Virgin Australia is well-prepared to transport Australia’s latest fashion trends as 40,000 hats, 110,000 dresses and pairs of heels make their way through carousels across the country”, Ms Keighery said.
Virgin Australia’s top tips for packing for the Spring Racing Carnival:
* Check the dimensions of your hat box. If it exceeds the carry-on allowance, check it-in at least 30 minutes before your flight.
* Pack an extra pair of shoes. A day at the races carries the high risk of broken high heels, mud and sore feet.
* Prepare for all weather conditions. With the unpredictability of the Spring season, you never know when you might need a warm jacket or an umbrella.
Other findings from the survey included:
* For most women Melbourne Cup is an excuse to splash out on new clothes and accessories with 80% of women willing to purchase a new dress for the race
* The average amount Australian women are prepared to spend on new items to look their best at Melbourne Cup is $370 – and that’s even before they have placed a bet
* Dirty shoes (48%), broken heels (42%) and fashion faux pas (23%) at the top of peoples ‘stress list’ when it comes to attending the races, explaining the sheer volume of luggage that travels to Melbourne
* The must-have beauty items for the race include lip-gloss (51%) and concealer (36%)
 Galaxy Research conducted 6/10/11, with a sample of 1510 respondents aged 18-64 across Australia.
 Figures provided by Victorian Racing Club and based on National Gross Economic Benefit – the total amount generated by the MCC in Australia by all Australians and international visitors.
 Refers to 29 October to 5 November 2011.
To book flights with Virgin Australia, visit the website here
Mackay’s newest sporting and entertainment venue will now carry the name Virgin Australia Stadium Mackay, following our three-year naming rights sponsorship announcement.
As part of our commitment to the area, we will also be opening a new Lounge and offering Business Class services before the end of 2011.
The new 260m² Mackay Lounge will offer:
· lounge seating for up to 70 Guests
· Premium Luke Mangan designed refreshments
· A premium selection of beverages
· Business services including complimentary WiFi, power, PC and printer
· Entertainment and relaxation with newspapers, premium magazine titles and a Panasonic high definition flat screen television featuring FOXTEL and free-to-air programming.
Our new Virgin Australia Lounge experience is a stylish yet practical space in which to work, socialise or unwind in comfort prior to your Virgin Australia flight departure from selected domestic airports.
Offering a great selection of complimentary benefits including a new Luke Mangan designed buffet menu and premium wines, business services, news, and entertainment, the Virgin Australia Lounge is your airport haven.
We’ve just been released a new TV commercial to promote the Lounge (see below).
The new Brisbane Domestic Lounge opened last week (27th July), joining the flagship Melbourne Lounge as both being recently renovated by renowned architect Tim Greer of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer. – see the photos here
To find out more, including entry rates or how to join visit the website here
Have you already experienced either of these two fantastic spaces prior to your flight? Favourite part? Any tips for your fellow travellers when using them?
Today we have announced the first routes for our new ATR aircraft, under the regional alliance with Skywest (subject to regulatory approval).
From October 2011 we will commence new services from Brisbane to Gladstone (double daily service) and Brisbane to Port Macquarie (daily return service) plus add extra services between Canberra and Sydney, bringing the total number of flights between the two cities to 60 each week.
Are you a fan of the AFL? A fan of the Gold Coast SUNS? A fan of travel? A fan of tropical Queensland?
If you are, why don’t you book a Blue Holidays package to join the Gold Coast SUNS on an AFL charter flight to travel with the players to beautiful Cairns for their match with the Richmond Tigers on July 16th.
Package price is $376 per person twin share and includes:
Return airfares from Gold Coast to Cairns flying Virgin Australia
1 nights accommodation at the Mantra Trilogy Cairns
Return airport & stadium transfers
Upper Grand Stand Ticket
Package must be booked via the Blue Holidays Guest Contact Centre by calling 13 15 16.