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The latest in friendly sky touring

Locals check out newest addition to V Australia's fleet, Boeing 777

Posted: February 12, 2009 8:53 p.m.
Updated: February 13, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Sally Bond and Bill Wolf, of Canyon Country, in the cockpit of the new V Australia Boeing 777 after the plane's arrival at LAX Friday.

 
Sally Bond and Bill Wolf, of Canyon Country, were part of an exclusive group who toured the new V Australia's Boeing 777 airplane after its arrival into LAX Friday.

"Everything was new and shiny and clean, and when you step into the door you get that new smell," Wolf said.

The couple was invited to the arrival party, where Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took part, and tour
of the plane because Wolf is friends with the CEO of V Australia.

"The plane came in from (Washington), coming brand-new from Boeing," said Bond, a realtor with Realty Executives. "Richard Branson walked onto the wing and sprayed everyone with champagne."

Branson, Virgin Group chairman, accepted the new Boeing 777 Friday at the factory in Everett, Washington.

The plane is the first of seven new 777-300ERs for V Australia, according to a Boeing news release.

V Australia launches three-class Sydney to Los Angeles nonstop service Feb. 27, building on daily flights by March 20.

"This 777 completes the circle for guests wanting to fly around the world on the unique service provided by Virgin Group airlines," Virgin Group Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said.

"The combination of Virgin service and the 777's passenger appeal will be a winner on the South Pacific."

V Australia's 777 carries 361 passengers in business, premium economy and economy classes, with advanced in-flight entertainment options, according to the press release.

"In the business-class cabin, you have a huge amount of space between the seats. You push a button and it slides into a bed," Bond said. "It's a way to really travel, especially long distance because they're like 12-and-a-half hour flights. The economy (class) has more leg room than most of the other planes."

It wasn't their first time at a launching party for a new airline, but the couple said the experience was exciting.

As the owner of his own airline company, EuropebyAir, Wolf said touring the new aircraft was, "absolutely wonderful."

"It's the thrill of a new car," he said. "It was a beautiful airplane, brand new out of the factory."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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