Virgin Australia, the trading name of Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd, is an Australian-based airline. It is the largest airline by fleet size to use the Virgin brand. It commenced services on 31 August 2000 as Virgin Blue, with two aircraft on a single route. It suddenly found itself as a major airline in Australia's domestic market after the collapse of Ansett Australia in September 2001. The airline has since grown to directly serve 32 cities in Australia, from hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
The airline's headquarters is based in South Bank, Queensland. It was co-founded by British businessman Richard Branson (the founder of Virgin Group) and former CEO Brett Godfrey.
In 2011, the airline went through a massive transformation—the changing of its brand to Virgin Australia. This included the introduction of a new aircraft livery, new uniforms, and new onboard menu options as well as a business class product which Virgin Blue did not have. New wide-body aircraft were acquired for use to compete with Qantas, and the roll-out of business class across all the Virgin Australia network.
On 21 April 2020, Virgin Australia Holdings went into voluntary administration, due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and financial troubles in the years leading up to the pandemic. On 26 June 2020, it was announced that Bain Capital had entered into a sale and implementation deed with administrator Deloitte to acquire Virgin Australia. Creditors agreed to this proposal on 4 September 2020, with the reorganisation and change of ownership completed on 17 November 2020.
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