In February 2009 I was part of the team that picked up Virgin Australia’s (then V Australia) first Boeing 777-300ER. Having arrived into the airline in June 2008, it had been a long 7 months – very long – but now we were about to get an aeroplane – and fly it. For the benefit of those in the team that couldn’t come along (and we took a lot of them with us!) – I blogged the journey on our internal website all those years ago. Ten years later – to the day – these are those blogs.

Google Photo Album


Part Eight of the V Australia Boeing 777 Delivery Flight series is all about the coming together of crew in Seattle and the beginnings of our journey home. The latest instalment of the V Australia Boeing 777 Delivery Flight series takes us to a party at The Crab Pot Seattle.

Two busses took us to the Crab Pot Restaurant down by the waterfront promptly at 6 this evening. Present were the competition winners and a number of V people, as well as reps from Boeing (who were sponsoring the evening) and we were joined later in the evening by the Crew who will be operating the flights back later this week. Richard Branson, Brett Godfrey and Scott Swift were at another function, I believe, no doubt more swanky but probably less fun …

Boeing went to town paying for the entire evening (including alcohol) as well as some free gifts. I talked with several Boeing reps during the evening, as well as a few journalists from ATW and others. The feeling I get from Boeing is that during these times (post GFC), they’re pleased by any aircraft delivery – but are particularly pleased to be associated with the launch of a new airline.

The Boeing Sales head there was particularly strident about that aspect – he reminded me how fortunate we all are to be part of this launch. It’s starting really to hit home now how fortunate indeed I am to be part of this delivery, part of this launch, part of this team.

I laughed at the “Subject To Regulatory Approval” comment at the bottom of the sign out front of the restaurant – then I remembered this Friday night’s grilling from CASA.

I’m sure there will be a few familiar faces here. There were only minor efforts at PR and speeches – everybody concentrated on having a good time instead.

Delivery8 1 Delivery8 2
Delivery8 3 Delivery8 4
Delivery8 5 Delivery8 6
Delivery8 7 Delivery8 8

Notice the Mallets? These are used to crack open the Seafood. And seafood there was, so much so that it was poured out over the table, from where you ate it. We got quite a shock when dinner came out and was served on the table!

The Boeing Reps were fantastic. One of my aims for this trip is to hit the Boeing shop and grab a few things for friends and my kids (Griffin has his eye on the Lego 787). When I discussed this with the Boeing reps, we did a quick survey and found almost everyone in the room had the same request (not necessarily for the Lego 787). So they’ve altered our tour of Seattle tomorrow to finish at Boeing Field Boeing Store.

Note : I did grab Fin a Lego 787, we built it together after I got back. They now go on Amazon for $700+ USD. Next time, I buy two – one for myself to keep …

Afterwards, we found an Irish Bar (of course) and also a piano accordionist who took requests. Much singing was accomplished, including the single longest rendition of American Pie in the history of bar singing (no-one could remember how it ended). I have the full version somewhere, it runs for 11 minutes, but if you accidentally repeat several of the verses over and over, time is no limitation. Alcohol seems to both retard your progress towards the end of the song and dampens any real desire to get to the end …

Tomorrow morning is the tour of Seattle and the stop in at Boeing Field.


The following is the anthology of associated posts. Note they become active (approximately) 10 years after the original events. So you can wait until they all drop to read them all in sequence – or read them as they come down. Or not!

  1. 03.Feb.2009 03:30 : Off into The Night
  2. 03.Feb.2009 07:00 : Melbourne Airport
  3. 03.Feb.2009 09:00 : Sydney (Outbound!)
  4. 03.Feb.2009 16:35 : Auckland
  5. 04.Feb.2009 13:30 : Los Angeles
  6. 03.Feb.2009 17:00 : Seattle
  7. 04.Feb.2009 17:00 : A Day in Seattle
  8. 04.Feb.2009 23:00 : Party Time!
  9. 05.Feb.2009 12:00 : Seattle Tour
  10. 05.Feb.2009 19:00 : Delivery Party
  11. 06.Feb.2009 12:30 : First Flight – Seattle Boeing Field BFI – Los Angeles LAX
  12. 07.Feb.2009 12:30 : Down to the Checkered Flag
  13. 09.Feb.2009 10:30 : VA9090 LAX-SYD – We Have An Airline