VIRGIN Atlantic boss Sir Richard Branson has pledged to
launch services Down Under via Hong Kong next summer.

The announcement comes after UK and Hong Kong authorities
agreed to open up the market between the two destinations.

“Everyone at Virgin Atlantic has long wished for the airline
to operate to Australia,” he said. “The deal means our ambition will soon
become a reality.”

Virgin will fly daily from Heathrow to Sydney, allowing
passengers to transfer to other major cities on Branson’s Australian low-cost
operation Virgin Blue.

Branson said he would eventually operate the new ‘super-jumbo’
Airbus A380 on the route. It will begin with an A340.