News

Friday, May 18th, 2012

What to Look for When Buying Baggage

a guide to baggage

The baggage you take on a trip away can have a critical effect on your overall travel experience.

At the airport the right baggage can allow you to move through check-in, security and boarding, and enable you arrive at your destination, with ease in a timely manner. The wrong baggage could be refused carriage, cause unexpected fees, or see your personal goods damaged.

When it comes to air travel there are two types of baggage that you need to consider: carry-on and checked.

To help you make the right decision when purchasing or choosing baggage for your next trip away, we’ve pulled together a guide of key things to look for in carry-on and checked baggage.

Read more »

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Biodiesel Trial Hits the Ground Running

We are excited to share with you the details of another key step we are taking in our sustainability strategy, aimed at reducing the environmental impact of our ground operations.

Over the next seven weeks, we are trialling the use of an environmentally-friendly biodiesel blend (B20) in one of our baggage tugs and one of our push back vehicles at Brisbane Domestic Airport.

We are proud to say the trial marks the first time an Australian airline has ever used biodiesel to power its ground service equipment.

The biodiesel used in the trial is produced locally in Narangba, Queensland by an Australian company called Ecotech Biodiesel and is made from used cooking oil and tallow. The fact that these are waste products is important to us because it means the biodiesel doesn’t compromise food production, land or water. What’s more, it has a range of environmental benefits including reduced greenhouse gas and soot emissions.

Our ultimate goal is roll out biodiesel to our ground service equipment across our other mainline ports, which could lead to a reduction in over 300 tonnes of CO2 per year.

We will keep you updated on the progress on the trial, but in the meantime, if you’re travelling through Brisbane, keep an eye out for a biodiesel-powered vehicle!

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Be Inspired Over Lunch with

Lorna Jane

Out of an overwhelming desire to make fashionable sports attire (activewear), former aerobics instructor, Lorna Jane Clarkson founded one of Australia’s most inspiring multi-million dollar businesses, Lorna Jane.

Two decades later, with more than 120 stores worldwide and 337,000 Facebook followers, Lorna Jane is not only an industry leader, but also a household name. On any trip to an Australian gym you’re guaranteed to find the brand’s iconic logo sported by ladies of all shapes and sizes, and confidence and abilities.

Recognising the brand’s positive effect on females, our holiday partner, Blue Holidays invites you on Breakations with the girls to be inspired over lunch with Lorna Jane.

Read more »

Women’s Business kit

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Virgin Australia’s amenity kits among the best in the sky

At Virgin Australia, we know that the little touches can make a big difference to your travel experience. One example of this is our amenity kits. We pride ourselves on offering an amenity kit that enhances your comfort not only during your flight, but also beyond your trip. We are pleased to share the news with you that our amenity kits for our international long haul flights on board our Boeing 777 aircraft have been recognised for doing just this in the recent Global Traveler Magazine Awards.

Having tried and tested the amenity kits of eighteen international airlines, the editorial team of Global Traveler Magazine awarded our new 2012 range with:

- The Best Overall in Business Class
- The Best Spa Product for our  Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream, from Australian organics brand Grown
- The Best Women’s Product for our Facial Moisturizer

To celebrate, Grown has extended a special offer to Virgin Australia’s online community from May 2nd until May 23rd. Simply enter the promotional code “11223” when you purchase any item on Grown’s website www.grown.com to receive a free 65ml Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream.

The new 2012 range has been designed to incorporate more sustainable packaging, generous volumes of product to last longer throughout the travel journey and new exciting features such vibrant kit interiors and collectable postcard series in Economy Class. You can check-out the contents in the kits below:

World Environment Day

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Virgin Australia sponsors the 2012 World Environment Day Awards

We are delighted to share the news with you that for the third year running, Virgin Australia will support the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards.

The awards, which coincide with the UNEP World Environment Day, which is held on June 5th annually, recognise innovative and outstanding environmental programs and initiatives from across Australia.

This year, we will be sponsoring the Community Award, which will be awarded to an Australian individual, organisation or business who is actively promoting species, habitats or the environment in their local area. The Award is open to land, waterways and coastal/marine environment based projects.

If you or someone you know is going above and beyond to protect their local environment, you can nominate now by simply filling in the entry form, available here.

Nominations are open nationally until Wednesday 9 May 2012 and the winner will be announced at the World Environment Day Awards presentation dinner, which will be held on Friday 8th June at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.

Stayed tuned to the Virgin Australia blog for further updates on the World Environment Day Awards.

 

Virgin Australia’s Sustainability Manager, David White presenting the 2011 Virgin Australia Business World Environment Day Award to the Fridge Buyback Program team, which came up with an innovative and energy efficient plan to manage old, unused fridges.

afl

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Any Game Anywhere

In the realm of sport nothing quite shouts Australia, is as innately ‘True Blue’, or as characteristically ‘Occa’ as the AFL.

A game so different to other disciplines grouped under the ‘football’ moniker, the AFL was invented in Melbourne in the mid-19th century out of the desire for a winter off-sport. What started out as a match between two school-boy teams has grown into one of Australia’s favourite sports – supported by millions of face-paint wearing, team song chanting, jersey sporting die-hard fans.

Virgin Australia is proud to be one of these ardent fans, so much so that we’ve join forces with the code to become the “official airline of the AFL”. Our partnership has us following this year’s game results and teams with unrivalled passion.

We were there when Fremantle defender, Michael Johnson came good on his promise to make up for his lacklustre 2011 season. We witnessed Melbourne break convention, when they presented jumpers to their debutants in a huddle on the ground instead of in the rooms. We applauded West Coast’s forward Josh Kennedy as he booted goal after goal to help the Eagles secure a 49-point win over the Western Bulldogs.  And we joined with the nation to pay our respect for AFL champion Jim Stynes when he lost his battle with cancer.

As round two gets well underway and the league gears up for round three, we have launched – in conjunction with the AFL Event Office and Blue Holidays – our Any Game Anywhere initiative.

Any Game Anywhere is a simple, fully customised website that enables AFL fans to choose their favourite team and destination, and book game tickets, airfares and accommodation all in a few easy steps.

Virgin Australia Group Executive of Commercial, Liz Savage, said “We are very proud to be the official airline of the AFL, and Virgin Australia is excited to offer AFL fans a range of tailor made packages through this innovative new site. With the convenience of additional flights, more often, we are committed to getting fans to any game anywhere in the country”.

AFL General Manager – Commercial Operations, Darren Birch said, “Any Game Anywhere footy packages are available for all games throughout the 2012 Toyota AFL Premiership Season along with 2012 Toyota AFL Finals Series. The Any Game Anywhere site is dedicated to the AFL code providing an interactive platform for fans, hosting a load of AFL content and news to keep fans updated on their team.”

Take the hassle out of planning your AFL weekend away… All packages include airfares, accommodation and a ticket to the game.

Virgin Australia operates flights direct to the birthplace of AFL, Melbourne, daily from all state capital cities and some major regional ports.

Our holiday program, Blue Holidays in conjunction with Tourism Victoria, also has a range of AFL packages on offer, from $324* per person.

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines Codeshare Services Are Now in Flight

Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines Codeshare Services Are Now in Flight

We have just announced the next phase of our alliance with Singapore Airlines: the start of codeshare services on Singapore Airlines flights to Asia and beyond.

Virgin Australia guests can now book and travel on codeshare flights to Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Cape Town, Johannesburg and London.

Over the next few months, codeshare services to other destinations including India, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia will also be made available.

These announcements follow the launch of reciprocal frequent flyer recognition last year and the start of Singapore Airlines’ codeshare on Virgin Australia domestic flights last month.

Virgin Australia Group Executive of Alliances, Network and Yield Merren McArthur said: “Over the past few months we have been working closely with Singapore Airlines to ensure we provide a seamless first-rate travel experience for our guests. As a result of our new alliance, Virgin Australia guests will be able to travel from all over Australia to destinations throughout Asia and beyond on a single ticket.

“The alliance also enables eligible Members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem frequent flyer Points and Status Credits on Singapore Airlines operated flights and provides access for eligible guests to Singapore Airlines lounges across the globe”, Ms McArthur said.

In celebration of our new codeshare services, Virgin Australia is offering special fares*, including:

 

* Sale fares are on sale until 05 April 2012. Fares are correct as at 29 March 2012. Fares are per person return and inclusive of taxes and charges. Conditions apply; please see www.virginaustralia.com for further information.

Premium Valet - V8 Supercars

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Virgin Australia launches Premium Valet at Brisbane Airport

We are excited to share the news with you that our Premium Valet service is now open at Brisbane Domestic Airport.

Located directly adjacent to the terminal, the new service means all Virgin Australia guests can now pull up to the kerbside, leave their keys with the valet and be checked into their flight straight away at the dedicated valet reception area.

The Premium Valet was officially launched this morning with the help of V8 Supercar Champions Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup, who tested out the service for the first time in TeamVodafone cars.

“As V8 drivers and frequent flyers, time is always of the essence. Having tried and tested the new Premium Valet this morning, we can say with confidence that it will make getting to the airport and then to your flight a quick and convenient process”, Craig Lowndes said.

“We know they’ll look after the car too, with undercover parking and the option for cleaning services during the car’s stay”, Jamie Whincup added.

Virgin Australia Group Executive of Product and Guest Services Martin Daley said the Premium Valet was one of a range of new products and services the airline was introducing to enhance the airport experience for guests.

“Soon Virgin Australia guests will be able to enjoy concierge services at Gold Coast and Canberra, an enhanced lounge at Perth and a brand new lounge at the Gold Coast”.

Premium Valet service at Brisbane Domestic Airport is open every day, one hour prior to the first flight until 30 minutes after the last flight of the day, with prices starting from $55.00 for up to 14 hours and $65.00 for up to 24 hours.

If you would like more information about the service, please visit our website here.

*****

Will the new Premium Valet at Brisbane Airport be a service you will look to use?

 

sustainability

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Carbon pricing and carbon offsetting: What is the difference?

At Virgin Australia, we are committed to being a leader in sustainability in the aviation industry.

One example of how we have led the way for the industry is our carbon offset program, Fly Carbon Neutral. Launched in 2007, it was the world’s first government-certified airline carbon offset program.

As we know, the Australia Government will introduce a carbon price in Australia in July 2012 and last week we provided details of how it will affect our airfares. However, some have rightly asked:

‘Why should I offset my flight if I’ve already paid for the carbon price as part of my fare?’

The answer is – they are different means to different ends.

Funds raised from the Australian Government’s carbon price will go towards assisting households and small businesses transition into a clean energy future. It won’t be until 2015, when the carbon price changes to a fully flexible cap and trade scheme, that some of the funds raised begin to be used for investment in activities that offset carbon emissions.

Therefore, for the next three years at least, the carbon price is designed to provide additional incentive for companies and households to reduce emissions. It does not offset your flight and you will not be flying carbon neutral.

Australian Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard

Australian Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard

Conversely, our carbon offset program provides an immediate way to address carbon emissions.

Every time a Guest takes up the voluntary option to offset their flight, the money goes directly towards purchasing carbon credits that “offset” the emissions attributed to their flight.

We only purchase credits that are approved under the Australian Government’s National Carbon Offset Scheme to ensure that they are of the highest quality.

For example, one of the projects supplying credits to our program involves a new water treatment facility in Thailand which captures methane gas (a powerful greenhouse gas). Previously waste water was treated in an open pond system and the methane was released into the atmosphere.

The project has also resulted in a number of other environmental and social co-benefits, including:

* The re-use and recycling of water within the production process

* Improving local air quality

* Producing clear and fresh water in the lagoons, free from pollution

Waste water being used for irrigation of local farms, providing better yields

Funds donated from the project being used to support a local school with computer equipment and library facilities.

It is also important to note that the carbon emissions offset by our Guests are not used by us to reduce our liability under the carbon price.

At Virgin Australia, we are committed to minimising the carbon emissions from our operations. Some of the ways we are achieving this:

We maintain a very young fleet of fuel efficient aircraft, the average age being 4.9 years. We have invested in a $2.5billion fleet renewal program over the next six years to ensure our fleet remains modern and fuel efficient. An example of this is the introduction of ATR turboprop aircraft to our fleet, which are up to 40% more fuel and greenhouse efficient than existing aircraft on our short to medium haul routes.

We have a dedicated fuel efficiency team that is examining ways to further reduce emissions through improving operations, adopting new technologies and working with airports and air navigation service providers to improve air traffic management.

* We actively support the development of sustainable, aviation biofuel and are working towards sourcing 5% of our fuel requirements from these fuels from 2020. Last year, we announced our support of two highly promising Australian projects that use sustainable means and methods, such as the eucalypt mallee tree, to achieve high-quality bio-crude oil.

*****

So there is a significant difference between the Australian carbon price and our carbon offset program. We know there won’t be one quick solution to achieving sustainable air travel, so we are working with a range of stakeholders and we look forward to engaging with the sustainability initiatives that result from the carbon price.

For more information about our sustainability strategy and our carbon offset program, please our website here.


Image from The Big Red Box

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Sustainability at Virgin, and what is The Big Red Box?

If sustainable lifestyles were a big red box, what would you find inside?

Organic produce, a bicycle, solar panels?

This question was posed to Virgin CEOs around the world and their responses have been captured in a new short film, which can be seen below. Read more »