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V Australia Launches Melbourne-LA Flights

By James Wilkinson

V Australia has kicked-off a big week in Melbourne, with the airline’s inaugural flight to Los Angeles taking off this morning (Dec 1) just days before the commencement of services to Phuket, Thailand.

V Australia has launched Melbourne flights

Farewelled by Victorian tourism minister Tim Holding, the inaugural Melbourne-Los Angeles flight marks V Australia’s first foray into the country’s largest southern city and also comes ahead of Johannesburg services which start in March 2010.

The launch of the new flights to Los Angeles is not just going to benefit planners looking at conference and incentive trips to the United States, but for hotels and venues in Melbourne picking up inbound business.

Virgin Blue Group CEO Brett Godfrey said the new services are expected to provide economic and tourism benefits for Victoria, with tomorrow’s first flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne set to land at 7am with a full load of passengers, including LA-based, Australian actress Melissa George.

“We are excited to be launching not just one, but two new international routes from Melbourne within a few days of each other and just in time for the peak holiday season,” he said.

“We identified both the US and Thailand as two highly desirable holiday destinations, with the US also a key business route for Victorians.

“Our aim is to stimulate both leisure and business traffic, provide incentives via affordable and high quality, comfortable flying options and open up opportunities for US based companies to do more business in Victoria and vice versa,” he said.

Godfrey said while V Australia is less than 12 months old, it has already been recognised globally for its award winning service, friendly crew, unique product offering and has been credited for bringing down fares, in particular on the trans-Pacific route.

“We are very proud of that in one of the most turbulent times in aviation,” he said.

“Melbourne and Victoria are an important part of our long term growth plan for V Australia and this is clearly demonstrated in the fact that V Australia’s next launch flight will be the direct Melbourne-Johannesburg services scheduled for take-off in March next year.

“Melbourne will be the only city to have direct flights to all three V Australia international destinations,” Godfrey said.

The inaugural Melbourne-Phuket flight takes off at midday on Thursday, December 3.