Virgin Blue’s red, white and blue livery has been consigned to history.
The last aircraft to fly in the old Virgin Blue colours, Boeing 737-800 VH-VUL, has entered the Townsville paintshop from which it will emerge in a few weeks bearing the name Virgin Australia in silver-grey print on the side of an all-white fuselage.
VH-VUL operated flight VA381 from Brisbane to Townsville on Wednesday evening, where it landed a little after 2030 local time. After the passengers disembarked and cargo was unloaded, the 737 was towed into the Flying Colours hangar where it will be repainted.
Named Ballina-Rina Blue, VH-VUL was delivered to Virgin in August 2007. When it emerges from the paintshop the 737 can be expected to be re-named after an Australian beach, following Virgin Australia’s convention of naming aircraft after Australian and New Zealand beaches.
Virgin chief executive John Borghetti relaunched what was then Virgin Blue into Virgin Australia in May 2011, meaning it has taken a little over three and a half years to get all of the carrier’s roughly 130 aircraft featuring the new livery.