Brisbane-based Virgin Australia is Australia’s second-largest airline and one carrier to attempt a full transformation from LCC to full service airline. Virgin Australia commenced operations in 2000 as Virgin Blue, wholly owned by the Virgin Group, the country's first surviving true LCC, but has since moved away from that market. Under the leadership of CEO, John Borghetti, the airline rebranded in May-2011. Pacific Blue Airlines (Australia) Pty Ltd and Pacific Blue Airlines (NZ) Ltd changed their names to Virgin Australia Airlines (SE Asia) Pty Ltd and Virgin Australia Airlines (NZ) Ltd respectively on 07-Dec-2011. These airlines trade under the name of Virgin Australia. Virgin Australia now operates a full service model, targeting higher-yielding corporate traffic, while seeking to maintain its core leisure market share and low-cost base. In 2014, Virgin Australia completed the acquisition of 100% of domestic LCC Tigerair’s (the former independent Tiger Airways) shares, thus mirroring Qantas’ dual brand strategy. The carrier also operated subsidiaries; Virgin Samoa (previously Polynesian Blue) and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA). In 2018, the Samoan government terminated the Virgin partnership to re-establish its own flag carrier. Velocity Frequent Flyer, Virgin Australia's frequent flyer programme, is owned by Virgin Holdings (65%) and Affinity Equity Partners (35%). Virgin Australia's principal shareholders are Nanshan Group, HNA Group, Etihad and Singapore Airlines.
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