Virgin Australia Airlines (NZ)

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Virgin Australia (NZ) Ltd
Virgin Australia logo.svg
IATA
VA
ICAO
PBN
Callsign
BLUEBIRD
Founded 2003 (as Pacific Blue)
Hubs Christchurch International Airport
Secondary hubs Auckland Airport
Frequent-flyer program Velocity Rewards
Airport lounge Virgin Australia Lounge
Fleet size 10
Destinations 16
Company slogan Now You're Flying
Parent company Virgin Australia Holdings Limited
Headquarters Christchurch, New Zealand
Key people
Website www.virginaustralia.com/en/nz
The former livery of a Pacific Blue 737-800 at Auckland Airport in 2005
In the new livery, a 737-800 on approach to Brisbane Airport in 2012

Virgin Australia Airlines (NZ) Ltd formerly Pacific Blue Airlines, is an airline based in New Zealand. It was established as the New Zealand subsidiary of Australian airline Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia). It is a fully owned subsidiary of Virgin Australia Holdings Limited. It was renamed Virgin Australia Airlines (NZ) Ltd in December 2011 when its parent company decided to bring all its airlines under the one banner.[1]

Based at Christchurch International Airport,[2] it operates air services between New Zealand and Australia, and to the Pacific Islands. It also operates services on behalf of Virgin Samoa (formerly known as Polynesian Blue).

History[edit]

The airline was established in 2003 and started operations on 19 January 2004 with a service between Christchurch and Brisbane, Australia,.[3]

As of 1 August 2007 (local date), the ICAO code was changed from PBI to PBN. This was done in consultation with air traffic controllers to prevent confusion between the letter I and the number 1 in flight plans.

On 21 August 2007, Pacific Blue announced its intention to begin domestic services in New Zealand[4] with the first flights commencing 12 November 2007. The initial routes were AucklandWellington, Christchurch–Wellington and Auckland–Christchurch. Later Christchurch to Dunedin flights started.

Pacific Blue announced its roll out of Premium economy seating across its fleet from March 2010 to match that of its sister Virgin Blue. Premium Economy is the front three rows of each aircraft – fitted with a unique red leather converter seat that folds from three abreast to two abreast when used in Premium Economy configuration.

On 16 August 2010 it was announced that Pacific Blue would be withdrawing from the New Zealand domestic market, with aircraft being reallocated to tran-tasman and medium-haul routes.[5]

The last-ever Pacific Blue domestic New Zealand service was operated on 17 October 2010, from Wellington to Auckland.

Pacific Blue was renamed Virgin Australia Airlines (NZ) Ltd in December 2011, as part of a unification of the company's holdings under a common brand.

Destinations[edit]

The airline operates scheduled passenger services between New Zealand and Australia; and to the Pacific Islands.[6] New Zealand served airports are: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. Formerly Hamilton was served from Brisbane services ended in October 2012.[7] International destinations served are: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Nuku'alofa, Rarotonga and Sydney.

Fleet[edit]

The fleet consists of all modern Boeing 737 aircraft:

Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
(Economy)
Boeing 737-800 10
180

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]