Celebrities, airline CEO’s and seemingly everyone who was anyone in the travel industry gathered in an Arabian-inspired marquee at Sydney’s Opera House last night to celebrate Etihad Airways and V Australia’s milestone partnership, making history as the first Australian carrier in 20 years to fly to the Middle East.
At the red-carpet reception, airline CEO’s, James Hogan and John Borghetti, personally greeted every guest which included Etihad brand ambassador, Dannii Minogue and V Australia new brand ambassador Elle McPherson.
The alliance between the carriers was said to be signed in 30 days as a result of being “new age carriers” with a “can-do” attitude.
“Business is done over relationships. The big thing for us is that it opens up a world for us and does good things for tourism to Australia and overseas,” Mr Hogan said.
“The Middle East is the fastest growing area in the world, so why don’t you fly there. Our customers are going to love the spirit of Virgin.”
Mr Borghetti agreed with the sentiment, saying it was Virgin’s strategy to align the airline with a brand that’s “a good fit”, now that he was working for a “real airline” making a snub against his previous role with Qantas Airways.
V Australia will fly three times weekly between Sydney and Abu Dhabi, bringing to 24 the total number of flights operated by the two airlines between Australia and Abu Dhabi.
“The week long program of events in Australia highlights the importance of the Australian market to our business and our deep commitment to it,” Mr Hogan said.
“Today’s joint service from Sydney to Abu Dhabi with Virgin Blue’s international arm V Australia marks the beginning of an exciting new era of cooperation for Etihad and Virgin Blue and opens up a new world of choice for travelers on our combined global network of more than 100 destinations.”
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Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M