5 August 2013 | Operations

Starlight Kids shine bright as Virgin Australia celebrates 100th Boeing 737 Arrival

Virgin Australia today celebrated the arrival of its 100th Boeing 737 by taking 100 Starlight children and their families to the skies for an unforgettable experience on the aircraft’s first passenger flight out of Sydney.

Danielle Keighery, Group Executive of Corporate Communications at Virgin Australia said, “As Starlight’s official wish granting partner, we are delighted to use the arrival of our new aircraft to create a special experience for children who need it the most.

“Capturing the essence of Starlight’s inspiring work, today is about giving these families the opportunity to enjoy some fun time together.

The excited group of children and their families included many first time flyers such as Ivy, 7 years, her Mum Tiff, dad Dave, and 6 brothers and sisters. Also on the flight was 6 year old Taylor, who experienced her first flight with Mum, Fiona & sister Jordyn.

“We are passionate about giving the opportunity to experience the excitement and adventure of air travel and we are very proud to support the vital work the Starlight Children’s Foundation carries out around the country,” said Ms Keighery.

The unique flight experience included cockpit tours, in-air bingo, sing-a-long songs with crew and a special lunch service designed by the airline’s head chef, Luke Mangan. The highlight of the flight was a guest appearance from hit boy band, The Collective who did a surprise performance at 30,000 feet.

Today marks the arrival of Virgin Australia’s 100th Boeing 737 into the airline’s growing fleet, which is one of the most modern and fuel efficient in the region. The aircraft represents more than half of the airline’s fleet, operating across Virgin Australia’s domestic and international network.

Louise Baxter, Starlight Children's Foundation CEO said, “We are very excited in our 25 years to be celebrating this milestone with Virgin today. Virgin generously supports our Starlight wish granting program helping us make a life changing impact in the lives of so many Starlight children and their families.”

Over the last two years, Virgin Australia has helped grant more than 400 wishes to seriously ill children and their families through its partnership with Starlight.

Virgin Australia crew and pilots volunteered their time for the maiden flight on the new aircraft. Support was also received from Boeing through gift donations, Shell through a generous donation of fuel and Sydney Airport who waived landing fee surcharges and provided complimentary parking.

Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737-800, registration YH-YFR, will enter service from tomorrow, initially servicing the Melbourne to Sydney route daily.