Virgin Blue International Airlines plans to launch non-stop service between Sydney, Australia and Los Angeles in December under a new open-skies agreement, continuing a trend among international carriers that are choosing Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as their West Coast gateway, airport officials said.
Virgin Blue Airlines, through its long-haul international carrier, V Australia, will use the first of its ten weekly allotments to launch the non-stop service.
“I am thrilled that such an innovative airline offering value and high-quality service to passengers has chosen Los Angeles as its front door to the U.S.,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.
Virgin Blue Airlines group chief executive officer and co-founder Brett Godfrey praised the open-skies agreement and said that with the initiation of the Australia-Los Angeles routes, air passengers will be able to travel around the world on Virgin brand airlines.
V Australia will take delivery of its first 777-300ER in September and it will be the first and only carrier to operate the aircraft between Australia and the U.S., airport officials said.
V Australia is the ninth air carrier to begin or announce new international service to LAX in the past year. In total, the nine carriers are adding 126 arrivals and departures per week at LAX, with an estimated annual economic impact of more than $5.6 billion, city officials said.