The first of two former Emirates A330-200s for Virgin Australia arrived at Melbourne’s main airport at Tullamarine this morning.

The completely white jet will soon be joined by a second A332 and will launch the not yet officially renamed Virgin Australia’s wide body services between Perth and Sydney in May, lifting to triple daily return frequency the following month.

The all white jet will be given the new identity for Virgin Blue soon, like other recently arrived all white Boeing 737s and at least one naked and nameless Embraer E-190.

While all the indications are that the Virgin Blue identity will become Virgin Australia, this is not 100 per cent certain until the new livery is revealed, one way or the other. It could be V Australia, contradicting Richard Branson’s insistence that the Virgin moniker will remain, or it could be V Pacific or Virgin Pacific.

Whatever it is, the rebranding was foreshadowed by former and founding Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey  in a speech to the National Aviation Press Club in Sydney in September 2009 in which he said brand consolidation was part of the carrier’s future.

While there is lingering doubt about the new Virgin identity, Godfrey’s successor John Borghetti should consider the airline totally exposed to the chilly winds of political disapproval in Canberra until it corrects its blunder in treating the Senate inquiry into pilot training and airline safety with contempt. Not my word, but that of some of the senators conducting the committee hearings.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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