Airlines: Richard Branson unveils V Australia

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As we anticipated in an earlier blog post, a new airline under the Virgin brand will be launching in December.

V Australia will link L.A. with Sydney, Australia. ("G'day, L.A.!", as one blogger puts it.)

There will be 10 roundtrips a week, says The Daily News. The service will increase the number of seats flying between the U.S. and Australia by 16 percent, says a press release.

V Australia will fly Boeing 777-300ER planes that will allow passengers to send and receive text messages via mobile phone and use gizmos such as the BlackBerry and Palm Treo in-flight.

Are there deals to be had? Maybe. Economy class seats will have about 19 inches of seat width and 32 inches of legroom, slightly more than the typical economy-class seat on an international route flown by a U.S. airline. V Australia says that these seats will be sold for a starting price in the high $700s, which they say is about 14 percent lower than the current average on the route, according to the L.A. Times Travel Deals blog.

But many of the sale fares, such as they were, have already been booked up, according to The Cranky Flier.

See more details at We previously blogged about the U.S.-Australia route (see here).

Have thoughts about trans-Pacific flights or the new V Australia service? Then sound off below.

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