By James Wilkinson in Melbourne
Virgin Blue celebrated its tenth birthday in spectacular fashion on Sunday (Sep 12), with a stage-show in a Melbourne aircraft hanger featuring performances by Delta Goodrem and Dein Perryâ€™s Tap Dogs.
Delta Goodrem and Sir Richard Branson at the Virgin Blue celebration
In typical Virgin fashion, the airlineâ€™s founder and major shareholder Sir Richard Branson hosted the hanger party that also featured 100 Virgin Blue staff and a Boeing 737-800 as a backdrop.
Goodrem was flown to Melbourne on V Australia for the one-off performance, which included two songs, including Happy Birthday. Perryâ€™s Tap Dogs also starred with a thunderous performance on a set of white stairs set up in front of the Boeing aircraft.
There was a serious side to the event and that was celebrating not just the tenth birthday of Virgin Blue, but the evolution of the former no-frills carrier that started flying on one route with two aircraft in 2000 and that has now grown to 88 aircraft and 420 flights per day.
â€œThe performance reflected the true spirit of our organisation and the Virgin brand â€“ fun, irreverent and spontaneous,â€ said Virgin Blue Group Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti.
â€œThe Virgin Blue Group of Airlines is on the threshold of new and exciting projects. Our first 10 years were great. The next 10 will be ground breaking.
â€œThe achievements of this airline is a direct result of our team with their warmth, enthusiasm and Australian way of getting the job done,” Borghetti said.
Branson with a Virgin Blue Boeing 737-800
Branson told the enthusiastic crowd the first ten years were great and the next ten will be even better.
â€œThe airline that shook up the Australian aviation industry ten years ago has now grown up and Iâ€™m extremely excited about John Borghettiâ€™s plans for the future,â€ he said.
Â â€œOur next ten years will be just as exciting as we continue to grow our network, enhance our products and services and bring the same competition to the corporate market as we did to the leisure market 10 years ago,â€ he said.