Feb 9, 2009

Arrival of V-Australia’s first aircraft

Arrival of V-Australia’s first aircraft

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

February 9 2009

Today I welcomed to Sydney V-Australia’s first plane: a brand new 777-300ER aircraft named Didgeree Blue.

The delivery of this new aircraft means V-Australia – the nation’s newest international airline – takes another major step towards its 27 February launch date. It will initially offer daily services to Los Angeles from both Sydney and Melbourne.

The entry of this new airline between Australia and the United States will provide travellers with greater options, put downward pressure on ticket prices and create new jobs in our aviation and tourism industries.

The airline itself will employ up to 1,000 Australians – a strong vote of confidence in the nation’s aviation industry.

Without the US/Australia ‘open skies’ agreement successfully negotiated last year by the Rudd Labor Government, today’s event would not have been possible.

The agreement allows Australian and US airlines to increase flights, develop new routes, offer innovative products and grow their businesses.

I am very pleased Sir Richard Branson and his team has been moving quickly to take advantage of these new arrangements.

The US is the third most popular destination for Australian tourists. Last year, more than 1.9 million passengers flew between our two countries for work or leisure.