Virgin Blue's new long-haul carrier V Australia today received its air operators's certificate, clearing the way for it to have its inaugural flight on 27 February.

The carrier says in a statement it received the AOC this afternoon and it is the first Australian carrier to have the Boeing 777-300ER on its AOC.

"The final process to secure the AOC, which V Australia applied for in August 2007, required a number of exercises over the past fortnight including an emergency evacuation demonstration and a recent proving flight, closely monitored by Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA) officials," the airline says.

There was also a mock medical emergency diversion to Auckland, it adds.

CASA granting the airline an AOC comes just a little over a week before V Australia is due to launch its first commercial flight. This will be a Sydney-Los Angeles service starting on 27 February using a recently delivered 777-300ER.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news