Virgin Australia Airlines (NZ)
|Founded||2003 (as Pacific Blue)|
|Hubs||Christchurch International Airport|
|Secondary hubs||Auckland Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Velocity Rewards|
|Airport lounge||Virgin Australia Lounge|
|Company slogan||Now You're Flying|
|Parent company||Virgin Australia Holdings Limited|
|Headquarters||Christchurch, New Zealand|
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.
Based at Christchurch International Airport, 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).
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 with the first flights commencing 12 November 2007. The initial routes were Auckland–Wellington, 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.
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.
The airline operates scheduled passenger services between New Zealand and Australia; and to the Pacific Islands. New Zealand served airports are: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. Formerly Hamilton was served from Brisbane services ended in October 2012. International destinations served are: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Nuku'alofa, Rarotonga and Sydney.
The fleet consists of all modern Boeing 737 aircraft:
- "Virgin Australia rebrands its Pacific carriers". New Zealand Herald. 8 December 2011.
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 30 March-5 April 2004. "Virgin Blue" 50.
- "Pacific Blue adds new trans-Tasman service". Sydney Morning Herald. 8 November 2003.
- Pacific Blue Begins New Domestic Services In New Zealand
- "THE VIRGIN BLUE GROUP OF AIRLINES ANNOUNCES FIRST PHASE OF NETWORK REVIEW" (Press release). Virgin Blue Holdings Limited. 16 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
- Virgin Australia: Destinations guides
- Hamilton loses last international flight New Zealand Herald. 14 August 2012.