Virgin Australia formally launches regional airline business, reveals repainted A320

Virgin Australia staff with the newly repainted former Skywest A320.

Following the successful acquisition of Skywest Airlines last month, Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti have officially launched Virgin Australia Regional Airlines. Based in Western Australia, the new operation will have 32 aircraft operating more than 800 services a week to 41 destinations.

The first three aircraft  – an Airbus A320, a Fokker 50 and Fokker 100 – to be rebranded as Virgin Australia were officially unveiled in Perth.

Borghetti described the launch as momentous for the airline, tourism and the travel industry.

“This country has one of the most geographically dispersed populations in the world and reliable, affordable air services are vital to the growth of regional Australia.

“In 2010, we articulated a strategy to become the airline of choice for all travellers in Australia. Since then, we have changed the competitive landscape in many ways and today marks our next major leap forward,” he added.

The rebranded Fokker 100.

“By integrating Skywest Airlines into the Virgin Australia Group, we unlock new opportunities to grow our services to regional Australia and significantly increase our charter presence in the high-growth fly-in-fly-out markets.

“By building a Perth-based operation and workforce, we will continue to invest in local resources, expertise and infrastructure”, Borghetti said.