Jet-setting Victorians can now enjoy more options for non-stop travel from Melbourne Airport to the USA, with the launch of Virgin Australia’s direct Los Angeles service.
Virgin Australia will be operating a Boeing777 with 339 seats for its five weekly flights.
The inaugural flight departed Melbourne Airport this morning with great fanfare including a US-style marching band, and a surprise visit from Dannii Minogue.
Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Simon Gandy said the service boasts a number of new features for Victorian travellers flying direct to the City of Angels.
“The Virgin Boeing777 features business class flat beds with direct aisle access, new business class seating and a glamourous business class bar,” Mr Gandy said.
“Travellers will also benefit from leaving on an 11:30am service, which will arrive in the USA at 9am on the same day.
“We are delighted with Virgin’s decision to introduce a Melbourne to LA service, providing Victorians with a frequent, non-stop service to the west coast of the United States.
“Travel between the US and Melbourne has increased by six per cent each year for the past seven years.
“In 2016 more than half a million (509,000) passengers travelled between Melbourne and Los Angeles.
“We’d expect growth from the US market to continue as a growing global fleet of long-range aircraft will open up even more US ports to carriers flying direct to Melbourne.
“The service is also a win for our local economy. A daily international service injects between 100 and 150 million dollars a year into Victoria, so with five flights a week that’s almost two million dollars flowing into the Victorian economy each week from this new service.”
“From our perspective, we’re deeply committed to working closely with all our airline customers to ensure we develop Melbourne Airport’s capacity to welcome these rapidly-growing numbers of international visitors.
“Whether that’s providing critical infrastructure to ensure our customers can arrive and depart at the most desirable times most desirable times, or providing a terminal experience that’s of a truly international standard, we’re investing in building an airport Melbourne can be proud of.”