• Virgin Australia reveals plans to be first airline to have pets allowed on flights

    March 7, 2024


    Virgin air hostesses with two dogs to announced plans to be first australian airline to have pets allowed on flights


    Virgin Australia has revealed plans to be the country’s first airline to have pets allowed on flights. The move marks a significant milestone for Australian aviation.

    Subject to approval, this initiative is set to commence within the next year. .

    Public call to have pets allowed on flights

    Today’s announcement comes on the heels of comprehensive surveys and research conducted by Virgin Australia, highlighting a strong demand for pet-friendly air travel.

    “Almost 70 per cent of Australian households have a pet, so this announcement is really significant for a large proportion of the country,” says Virgin Australia Group CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka.

    “Overwhelmingly, our guests tell us they want to travel with their pets, and we are now on a journey to make that a reality. It’s something that commonly happens overseas and is proven to work well.”

    A 2021 social media survey showed an overwhelming 85% of Virgin Australia’s Facebook followers supporting the concept. Further research with Australian pet owners revealed that nearly 70% would opt to travel with their pets in the cabin, while 57% indicated they would fly more often if such a service were available.

    Hrdlicka says the move demonstrates the airline’s long-standing affinity for animals and innovation.

    “It’s also a great thing for pet-friendly accommodation providers who will benefit greatly from increased connectivity and the ease for travellers to fly with their pets.

    “Our love for animals has always been in the Virgin Australia DNA and we are excited at the prospect of taking off with Australia’s first-ever pets in cabin flights,”

    Virgin Airlines hostesses with two dogs to announced pet-friendly flights

    Pet-friendly flights

    The proposed service is inspired by established practices in North America, where airlines already offer pet onboard options.

    Virgin Australia’s pets in cabin flights will initially welcome small cats and dogs on selected domestic routes.

    To ensure the comfort and safety of all passengers, pets will have designated rows. They also must remain in carriers under the seat in front of their owners at all times. And they will not be permitted to roam freely or sit on laps.

    “Pets on flights is another example of Virgin Australia leading the way with first-to-market experiences for our guests.”

    “Innovation has always been a hallmark of Virgin Australia.

    “We were the first airline in the country to offer online check-in.”

    Melbourne Airport CEO, Lorie Argus said the airport was looking forward to helping Virgin Australia deliver the Australian-first.

    “We’ve been investing significant effort into providing relief areas for assistance animals and these facilities have ample capacity to serve Virgin Australia’s new guests,” she said.

    “Animals being carried on board Virgin Australia flights will be required to remain in their approved pet carriers.

    “We expect the pets in cabin concept will prove a popular offering and we look forward to working with Virgin Australia.”

    Further details about routes and costs for the pets in cabin flights are forthcoming. And Virgin Australia reassures that there will be no changes to the current policies for assistance animals.

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