Friday, April 13th, 2012
Described by The New York Times as “Beijing’s naughty sister”, Shanghai is a thriving metropolis with a pioneering spirit that exudes adventure, excitement and attitude.
A trip to Shanghai is an eye-opening experience. Nicknamed “Whore of the Orient” during the Golden Age of the mid-1800s to mid-1900s, the city was once rife with opium dens, brothels, gambling houses and a strong crime trade. Populous and ever-morphing Shanghai has since transformed into the “Pearl of the Orient” – a sophisticated playground for expats and socialites, where the trials and triumphs of capitalism are omnipresent and all-embraced.
Typified by flashing neon lights, a bustling cityscape and one of the world’s most recognisable skylines, Shanghai is a trend and pace setting showpiece of China’s economy – where the East first met the West with exciting new-world assertiveness.
If you’re looking to explore China’s history visit Beijing… If you’re looking for a good time visit Shanghai. Flashy mega high-rises tower into the air, showcasing opulent restaurants and shopping facilities; while the streets are abuzz into the early hours of the morning with lively bars and nightclubs.
Read more »
Friday, April 6th, 2012
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
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.
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
The fabulous and Australian Liam Hemsworth will be on hand for the Australians in Film screening of the wildly popular The Hunger Games. You can win your way in with a pair of passes courtesy of your favorite airline. Read more »
Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
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?
Friday, March 23rd, 2012
A source of inspiration, a teacher, a guide, a saviour during wait times, a companion in the jet-lag hours, and a travel buddy on the road and in the air – a good book is atop most seasoned travellers’ must-pack list.
Before and while travelling it’s a good idea to read a book to gain a sense of culture and experience a taste of what’s to come. Over a million books are published every year; a feat that can make it hard to weed out the good from the bad. To help you choose what book to take away with you on your next trip we’ve pulled together a list of travel-centred recommendations.
On the Road by American writer Jack Kerouac is a largely autobiographical work, based on road trips made by a group of friends across America. The Telegraph Travel explained that the book should come with a warning: “proceed with caution; you may never be able to settle in one place again.” The 1950’s cult classic transports the reader from New York to LA, encountering music, poetry and wild antics along the way. Read more »
Friday, March 16th, 2012
New York City…
It’s the setting of a thousand films; the subject of Frank Sinatra’s famous lyrics: “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere”; and home to the United Nations’ headquarters and the world’s largest stock exchange. The thriving metropolis typifies the United States’ “Land of the Free” moniker – packing activity, culture and opportunity into every nook and cranny of every street and alleyway. There is no ‘bad’ time to visit The City That Never Sleeps… A constantly evolving calendar of events sees New York always engaged with things to see and do. However to experience the Big Apple in all its splendour, it’s hard to beat spring in the city.
As winter thaws out, alfresco dining fills New York’s…
sidewalks, patios, decks, rooftops and terraces with chattering friends, spilling drinks and heaped plates. Enjoy cocktails and sushi overlooking the West Village at Sushi Samba’s rooftop bar. Casual and quirky Yaffa’s in Tribeca is a New York institution, open 24/7 with outdoor tables offering a great vantage point from which to spot celebrities. Shake Shack’s Madison Square Park outdoor court brims with social burger fiends – the store is so popular that its website helps guests “check the line and save time” with a ‘Shake Cam’. The Yard at the Soho Grand is one of the city’s hippest and most coveted outdoor spaces; the perfect place to bask in the sun and indulge in plates from the grill. New American-style dining is presented against a stunning backdrop at Bryant Park Grill on a glorious sun-drenched rooftop. Closed for the winter, The Loeb Boathouse comes to life in the spring, with an outdoor terrace perfect for marvelling at couples adrift on paddle boats on Central Park’s famous Lake . Read more »
Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
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
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.
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
We have today announced a series of new product and service initiatives to further enhance the airport experience of Virgin Australia Guests on the Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane triangle.
The new initiatives designed to create a more seamless travel experience for Guests include:
* A Premium Valet and dedicated check-in service at Melbourne and Brisbane domestic airports.
* A Concierge service at Gold Coast and Canberra airports, providing personalised service to Virgin Australia’s Premium Guests.
* The expansion and upgrade of Sydney and Melbourne domestic airports terminals throughout 2012, including building additional aerobridges at both airports for wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft.
Our Group Executive of Product and Guest Services Martin Daley said that with more than 15 million passengers travelling between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane each year, “the Triangle”, is one of the world’s busiest airline routes.
“Providing Guests with a seamless experience on the Triangle is a key focus for Virgin Australia as we progress in our strategy to become the airline of choice in Australia.
“Following our recent enhancements on these routes, including increased flight frequencies, Valet and kerbside lounge entry at Sydney Domestic Airport, and priority services for Premium Guests, we have received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from Guests.
“The initiatives announced today are designed to build on this work, ensuring that Virgin Australia is the number one choice for travellers on “the Triangle”,” Mr. Daley said.
Other Product and service initiatives include:
* Kerb-side valet car park service in Brisbane from next month.
*Plans for a dedicated Premium Valet car park at Melbourne Domestic Airport expected to open later this year.
* A Concierge service at Gold Coast and Canberra airports will soon commence to provide exceptional personalised service to Virgin Australia’s high value guests.
Virgin Australia’s enhancements to travel on “the triangle” over the last 12 months include:
* Priority check-in; screening; boarding; and baggage.
* Business Class on all flights, including luxury leather seats on the Boeing 737-800 fleet.
* Luke Mangan designed menu.
* Newspapers on-board each weekday until noon.
* New lounges in Melbourne and Brisbane with enhancements planned for Sydney.
Are any of these features something that you would look to utilise when you fly with us?
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
Virgin Australia and V8 Supercars have announced a partnership that will see us become the official domestic airline of V8 Supercars.
We will transport V8 Supercar staff and the majority of teams to the 15 Australian events across the country and one in New Zealand, as well as offering motorsport fans great savings for flights and holiday packages when they want to travel to those events!
V8 Supercar CEO David Malone said the deal was a fantastic arrangement for V8 Supercars and fans, again elevating the sport to one of the big players in Australia. Read more »