Virgin Australia Set To Deliver Country’s First Pets-In-Cabin Flights

Virgin Australia Set To Deliver Country’s First Pets-In-Cabin Flights

SYDNEY, Mac 7 (NNN-AAP) – Virgin Australia, today unveiled a new plan to become the country’s first airline to operate flights with pets onboard.

According to the newly released proposal, the service will be limited to small cats and dogs, on specific domestic routes. Pets will be required to stay in designated rows and not allowed to roam freely or sit on laps.

In addition, they must also be carried in a Virgin Australia-approved pet carrier under the seat, in front of the owner for the duration of the flight.

“Almost 70 percent of Australian households have a pet, so this announcement is really significant for a large proportion of the country,” Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jayne Hrdlicka, said, during a press conference held at Melbourne Airport.

“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. It really will be a whole new economy for pet travel in Australia,” Hrdlicka noted.

The service is expected to launch within 12 months, pending planning and stakeholder consultation.

The second-largest carrier in Australia will also take this 12-month window, to design a safe proposition with strict rules, including measures to minimise impacts on passengers with allergies.

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

“Animals being carried on board Virgin Australia flights will be required to remain in their approved pet carriers at all other times within the terminal,” said Argus.

“We expect the pets-in-cabin concept will prove a popular offering, and we look forward to working with Virgin Australia to make it a reality,” she added.

A national survey by Animal Medicines Australia, found that there were nearly 29 million pets across 6.9 million Australian households in 2022, more than the estimated human population of 25.8 million at that time.


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