Update: we now have the new Virgin Australia logo to go with the Virgin Australia brand.
Previous: Virgin Blue may be set to become Virgin Australia when the airline reveals its new brand campaign next month, but that doesn't mean 'V Australia' will go away.
Speaking at the Australian British Chamber of Commerce in Sydney today, Virgin Blue Group CEO John Borghetti admitted that while the current four-brand strategy was confusing for customers, a single brand was not the most likely answer.
"You won’t see us, or you probably won’t see us, move to one brand but I can guarantee a rationalisation" Borghetti said.
The most likely scenario is for the airline's domestic arm to be christened Virgin Australia while its international services will run under the existing V Australia brand.
This still leaves a question mark over the brands of Virgin Blue's Pacific Blue subsidiary, which services the trans-Tasman market between Australia and New Zealand as well as limited services from Australia to South Asia; and Polynesian Blue, which flies between Samoa, Australia and New Zealand and is 49% owned by the Samoan government.
Virgin Pacific has often been mooted as a unifying brand for Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue, although this would require the blessing of Singapore Airlines, which is a partner in Virgin Atlantic and holds the rights to the international use of the Virgin name for airlines.
Borghetti also underscored his intention to seek out an Asian carrier for an alliance similar to those which Virgin Blue has already established with Etihad and Air New Zealand. US government approval for a similar tie-up with Delta is also being sought, with the intent to make Los Angeles into Virgin Blue's second international hub and potentially open up a direct service from Sydney to San Francisco.
Citing Asia as the “fastest growing region globally”, Borhgetti said Virgin Blue was “not going to leave that part of the world uncovered”.
“The IMF predicts that within five years Asia’s economy will be about 50% larger than it is today, account for more than a third of global output, and be comparable in size to the economies of the US and Europe. We are positioned on the doorstep of Asia and we are going to play in that space."
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.