V Australia Inaugural Flight to Los Angeles Delayed

Virgin Blue's first transpacific airline, V Australia, is delaying its inaugural Sydney-Los Angeles flight to February 28, 2009 due to a strike at a Boeing aircraft factory in Seattle. The original launch date was set for December 15.

"Should the industrial dispute be resolved in the short term, the airline would move swiftly to bring forward V Australia's startup schedule," Virgin Blue said in a statement.

V Australia’s service between Brisbane and Los Angeles is expected to launch as scheduled on March 1. Potential passengers that booked a flight between December 15 and January 16 can obtain a full refund, rebook for flights that leave on or after March 1, 2009, or use alternative airlines at Virgin Blue's expense. Ticket sales for travel before February 28 have been suspended.

The airline cannot confirm the delivery date of its first three Boeing 777-300ER airplanes, which were under production at the Seattle factory where 27,000 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers went on strike September 6.