Happy birthday Virgin Australia

It's wonderful to celebrate Virgin Australia’s 19th birthday (how time flies!)

I met CEO Paul Scurrah recently, and we discussed his plans for Virgin Australia and how he wants to shape its future.

Winglets on Virgin Australia's Boeing 373 Next Generation

It is a challenging market for all airlines at the moment and Virgin Australia is having to make some tough choices as it turns itself around. Sadly, this means losing some of our team and reviewing which routes make sense to fly.

Paul has only been there a short time but his is already putting his plans in place. At the same time, I’m proud to see all the wonderful things the teams at Virgin Australia are doing for our people and the planet, while navigating the turnaround.

One of the things I’m most proud of at Virgin Australia is their commitment to greater sustainability in the skies and to reducing their carbon footprint. Paul told me how Virgin Australia are playing a leading role in the use and production of sustainable aviation fuels in Australia. They are currently trialling using sustainable aviation fuel through Brisbane Airport’s fuel supply system. Biojet emits lower levels of carbon emissions compared to traditional fossil jet fuel and can be derived from sustainable sources such as waste, agricultural residues, oils and algae. I’m excited for what the future holds when it comes to sustainability in aviation, and it’s great to see Virgin Australia committed to being at the forefront of innovative solutions that drive the industry forward.

Biojet fuel

The crew at Virgin Australia are so passionate about the environment, they have started a volunteer programme for Sustainability Ambassadors. This gives people across the business the chance to get involved and have a say on how they think we could minimise waste and protect the environment – whether it is eliminating plastic straws or upcycling crew uniforms. So far we have 165 ambassadors ranging from cabin crew, pilots, engineers, office employees, pit-crew, guest services and everyone in between.

I always say that what makes Virgin really special is its people – and the wonderful teams at Virgin Australia are no exception. It’s down to their dedication that the airline has won so many awards over the years and become known as a champion of people who strive to do better every day.

It's impressive to see how they are changing the face of aviation with their pilot cadetship programme, setting a 50-50 gender target to get more women flying planes and to break up male-dominated areas of aviation

Virgin Australia, Cadets, Gender

I’ve always thought flying should be an adventure and a fun experience, so I also loved hearing about their programme to help nervous flyers to feel more comfortable and at ease in the air. I joined them for the first ever meditation flight last year – and reached the ground feeling rather zen and relaxed. It’s great to see a focus on wellbeing and mental health so our customers and people are the happiest they can be.

Virgin Australia has come so far and achieved so much in 19 years and I can’t wait to see for my next visit to see all the team and see what’s in store next. 

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