The carrier unveiled a 737, VH-VUY, in a special AFL-themed livery, albeit incomplete: Virgin Blue’s logo was left out in anticipation of next month’s brand re-launch.
Although some sections of the AFL are not pleased to be flying on Virgin Blue as the carrier only has a premium economy cabin as opposed to Qantas’s business class, that issue should be rectified with the carrier’s new premium offering, expected to also be announced next month.
The aircraft serves as a flying reminder of the changing domestic Australian market. High-profile, and thus high-cost, sponsorships like this would have been unimaginable a few years back for Virgin Blue.
But now Virgin Blue is out to increase its share of the corporate sector. The AFL partnership gives Virgin Blue publicity but not the direct butt-on-seat revenue it seeks.
Further, Virgin Blue has yet to capture any of Qantas’s top fifty clients, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Qantas would like to keep that status quo but Virgin Blue is pushing to crossover between fluff sponsorship and corporate sales.
How easily Virgin Blue can realise that will be clear as soon as the carrier’s new domestic product is made clear, which will be represented by the missing company logo on the AFL jet.
A flying reminder of a changing market as Virgin Blue unveils 737 in AFL livery
Virgin Blue wasted little time promoting its win of sponsoring the AFL, previously Qantas’s turf.
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