Friday, April 13th, 2012
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.
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 »
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 9th, 2012
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 »
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
What happens when an overdue break meets a short vacation? They run away together on a Breakation.
But what is a Breakation you say?
The team at Blue Holidays, the holiday partner of Virgin Australia, have essentially created the “new” short vacation, where your much needed break becomes a mini holiday!
Our point of difference is that fact that these holiday packages are individually tailored to the different people planning the trip. It’s not just couples who can have fun and reconnect — there are short break escapes for everybody, from the boys’ adventure to the girls’ getaway and the much-needed mini family holiday. Read more »
Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
Australian beaches. Sun, surf, beach towels, lifesavers…Virgin Australia Cabin Crew? If you were at Coogee beach this morning, you may have been surprised to see this unlikely mix.
Rest assure – you weren’t seeing things; this morning’s events marked the beginning of an exciting new partnership. From today, Virgin Australia is the new official airline of Surf Life Saving Australia. Together, we will be raising awareness about the importance of surf safety for international and domestic tourists on our beaches. Read more »
Friday, January 20th, 2012
We’ve heard from our frequent flyers that more hot food would be appreciated in our Lounges
In addition to the toasties, soups, salads, themed meal and pass-around pizza and cocktails pies (5-7pm), you can now enjoy a hot dog, curry, or Mexican feast. A sample of what’s on offer (Sydney lounge dinner menu) follows:
Luke Mangan self-service Hot Dogs
Pass arounds 5-7pm – mozzarella pizza, lamb and rosemary mini-pies; minestrone soup; Israeli cous cous, Thai noodle, potato with sour cream and herbs salads; make your own Greek salad – meatballs, tzatiki, Greek salad (no feta), marinated feta cheese, pita pocket, Mexican cantina – chickpea & chorizo, tortillas, avocado dip, sour cream, corn chips, caramel slice, and a cheese plate. While hot dogs are on Melbourne’s menu, and curry is in Brisbane.
This has of course been designed by our chef, Luke Mangan! Read more »