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Virgin Australia plans to be first Aussie carrier to operate with pets onboard

Virgin Australia announced that it plans to be the first Australian airline to operate flights with pets permitted in the cabin. 

The plan is still subject to regulatory approval and, if granted, is expected to launch within 12 months.

🐈+🐶+ 🧑‍🤝‍🧑+✈ = …?

Is this fur-real?! Pets onboard Virgin Australia flights are one giant leap closer for petkind: https://t.co/DaBfT05MnO pic.twitter.com/cc66u9jVZR

— Virgin Australia (@VirginAustralia) March 6, 2024

In 2021, Virgin Australia conducted a social media survey via Facebook which saw 85 % of respondents vote in favor of the airline launching flights allowing pets in the cabin. 

The airline said it conducted a more recent research among Australian pet owners, which showed that nearly 70% said they would travel with their pet in the cabin, while 57% said they would fly more regularly if the service was offered.

In North America, almost all major carriers, including United Airlines and Air Canada, allow, under specific regulations, pets onboard domestic flights.

Virgin Australia said its proposed pet-friendly service will have parameters and restrictions such as:

The service being limited to small cats and dogs on specific domestic routes;

Limited and designated rows to be assigned as ‘pet zones’

Pets will not be allowed to roam freely or sit on laps;

Pets 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.

“Our love for animals has always been in the Virgin Australia DNA and we are excited at the prospect of taking off with Australia’s first-ever pets in cabin flights,” Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said in a statement.

“Overwhelmingly, our guests tell us they want to travel with their pets, and we are now on a journey to make that a reality. It’s something that commonly happens overseas and is proven to work well,” Hrdlicka continued.

Hrdlicka added: “Almost 70% of Australian households have a pet, so this announcement is really significant for a large proportion of the country. It’s also a great thing for pet-friendly accommodation providers who will benefit greatly from increased connectivity and the ease for travelers to fly with their pets. It really will be a whole new economy for pet travel in Australia.”

The post Virgin Australia plans to be first Aussie carrier to operate with pets onboard appeared first on AeroTime.

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