Virgin Samoa

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Virgin Samoa.gif
IATA
VA
ICAO
VOZ
Callsign
Velocity
Founded October 2005
(as Polynesian Blue)
Operating bases Faleolo International Airport
Frequent-flyer program Velocity Frequent Flyer
Airport lounge Virgin Australia Lounge
Fleet size 1
Destinations 4
Parent company Virgin Australia Holdings (49%)
Government of Samoa (49%)
Headquarters Bowen Hills, Brisbane, Australia
Key people Mark Pitt, CEO
Website virginsamoa.com

Virgin Samoa, formerly Polynesian Blue, is an airline that flies between Samoa, Australia and New Zealand. It is owned by Virgin Australia Holdings (49%) and the Government of Samoa (49%).[1] Polynesian Blue took over the long haul flights (those involving Australia or New Zealand) which were operated by Polynesian Airlines. In December 2011 Polynesian Blue was renamed Virgin Samoa.

History[edit]

Polynesian Blue logo

In 2005 Virgin Blue Holdings signed an agreement with the Government of Samoa to operate a joint venture airline. The announcement came after several months of detailed discussions between the two parties and involved the Samoan government and Virgin Blue joining forces to set up a new company to operate jet routes previously flown by Polynesian Airlines. The name Polynesian Blue adopted in keeping with the Virgin Blue family of brands, which also included Christchurch based Pacific Blue Airlines. Its first flight was on 31 October 2005, between Apia, Auckland and Sydney.

The airline is owned by Virgin Australia Holdings (49%), the Government of Samoa (49%) with the remaining 2% held by an independent Samoan shareholder, the owner of Aggie Grey's Resort and Hotel.[2]

Pacific Blue Airlines changed its ICAO code from PBI to PBN to prevent air traffic controllers confusing the I for a 1 in flight plans. This also applies to Virgin Samoa flights operated by Virgin Australia. The ICAO code PLB (Callsign: Polyblue) is currently reserved for the airline but not in use.

Virgin Blue Holdings rebranded its airlines under the new Virgin Australia name in 2011, later renaming itself Virgin Australia Holdings.[3] Polynesian Blue was rebranded Virgin Samoa and a new livery was unveiled for one of the Boeing 737-800s operated by Virgin Australia (NZ) - which features traditional Samoan tattoos on the engines, designed by Tuifa’asisina Tolouena Sua. Cabin crew uniforms were also redesigned to feature the new imagery.[4]

Destinations[edit]

Pacific Blue Airlines' Polynesian Blue liveried Boeing 737-800 (ZK-PBF, Tapu'itea) at Bauerfield Airport, Port Vila in June 2009

As of May 2007, Virgin Samoa operates scheduled passenger flights to the following destinations:

Country City Airport Refs
Australia Brisbane Brisbane Airport
Australia Sydney Sydney Airport
New Zealand Auckland Auckland Airport
Samoa Apia Faleolo Airport Hub

Onboard services[edit]

Virgin Samoa offers a buy on board service offering food and drinks for purchase.

Fleet[edit]

Virgin Samoa does not own any of its own aircraft. All flights are operated on behalf of Virgin Samoa by Virgin Australia (NZ). One of Virgin Australia (NZ)'s Boeing 737-800 aircraft is painted in Virgin Samoa livery - ZK-PBF, named Tapu I'Tea.

Aircraft In Fleet Orders Seats (Economy)
Boeing 737-800 1 0 180

References[edit]

  1. ^ Virgin Blue picks up Samoa flights CNN 14 July 2005
  2. ^ Ben Sandilands (7 December 2011). "A Virgin with tatts is one of world’s top earning jets". Crikey. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Virgin Australia rebrands its Pacific carriers". NZ Herald. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Mike Gisick (7 December 2011). "Polynesian Blue to become Virgin Samoa". Australian Aviation. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 

External links[edit]