V Australia has appointed Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in Los Angles to provide cargo handling for its new Boeing 777-300ER flights from Sydney, Australia.

The inaugural flight touched down in Los Angeles with a payload of 20 tons of cargo as well as a celebrity passenger list that included the airline Group’s co-founders, Sir Richard Branson and Brett Godfrey.

WFS expect to handle some 6,000 tons of import and export cargo a year for V Australia. The new contract is in addition to the existing cargo handling contract held by WFS with Virgin Atlantic Cargo in Los Angeles.

The historic launch of V Australia flights was made possible following the signing of an open skies agreement concluded between the Federal Governments of Australia and the United States of America 12 months ago. V Australia lobbied for permission to operate trans-Pacific flights in order to open up travel between the two countries in the same way Virgin Blue has done domestically in Australia and Pacific Blue has done on the trans-Tasman and domestically in New Zealand.

V Australia is operating daily flights from Sydney to Los Angeles. The carrier will also launch direct flights between Brisbane and Los Angeles and Melbourne and Los Angeles and recently confirmed it has set its sights on launching its next route from Australia to South Africa.

Bill Payne, Managing Director of WFS in Los Angeles ’ who attended the inaugural ceremony with other senior WFS managers ’ said: ‘We are excited to be a part of this great new venture. With the economy in its current condition, V Australia is a breath of fresh air for our team and has already created an extra buzz in our work environment.’