Based in Bowen Hills, Brisbane, the airline was co-founded by British businessman Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group and former CEO Brett Godfrey.
It was established as Virgin Blue in November 1999 with two aircraft operating on a single route, and suddenly found itself catapulted to the position of Australia's second airline after the collapse of Ansett Australia in September 2001.
It also gave Virgin access to terminal space without which growth would have been significantly limited.
Delays in negotiating access to the former Ansett terminal at Sydney Airport however, forced Virgin to use its original terminal there—a collection of prefabricated buildings without aerobridges—longer than was needed.
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