In 2000, the Virgin brand entered the Australian aviation market for the first time as Virgin Blue – a low cost airline flying a single route between Brisbane and Sydney – setting the scene for what would become the first real competition in the leisure sector of Australian aviation.
Virgin Blue’s low cost model was so successful that it became the fastest growing Virgin Company in history. It welcomed its millionth guest within its first year of operation and three years later floated on the Australian Stock Exchange at a valuation of A$2.3billion.
In 2012, Virgin Blue re-branded and repositioned from a low-cost airline to a full service airline, now called Virgin Australia. It is the second largest airline in the Australian market, flying passengers to 47 domestic destinations and to more than 450 destinations worldwide.
Since listing, the company has continued to grow and consolidate its presence across the market, both through the acquisitions of regional operator Skywest and low cost carrier Tigerair Australia, and also through international alliances with some of the most renowned airlines in the world (Air New Zealand, Etihad and Singapore Airlines).
Virgin Australia consults extensively with its stakeholders to identify and address its material environmental impacts, including carbon emissions, as well as supporting Australian communities through engagement with customers, employees and local and national groups. As part of this, they are working in partnership with SkyNRG to create a sustainable renewable jet fuels bioport in Brisbane.
Over the years the airline has been distinguished with multiple awards across various categories, expressing the versatility and values of the Virgin brand. Most recently, in 2015, the airline was named “Best Airline Staff Service in Australia Pacific” by Skytrax, “Top 10 World’s Best Airlines for Business Travel” by Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards and “Most Respected Companies, #1 in aviation sector and #6 in Australia” by the Australian Financial Review.