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Since then Virgin Blue has also announced an agreement with Vietnam Airlines which allows passengers to fly from Melbourne and Sydney and connect with Vietnam Airlines's destinations through its flight network.
In 2008, premium economy class was introduced throughout its entire fleet.
At its inception in 2000, Virgin Blue did not have interline or marketing alliances with other airlines.
However, after the collapse of its domestic competitor Ansett Australia, it began a codeshare agreement with United Airlines.
Patrick had been unhappy for some time with the company's direction.
By the closure of the offer, Patrick held 62% of the company, giving it control. In May 2006 Toll Holdings acquired Patrick and became the majority owner of Virgin Blue.
This allowed United customers to fly from the United States to any of Virgin Blue's Australian destinations that United did not already serve.
In 2006, in an effort to compete with Qantas, Virgin Blue started exploring these relationships, forming frequent flyer agreements with Emirates, Hawaiian Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.
As the airline grew, it acquired new equipment, enabling it to phase-out its older 737-400s in favour of 737-700 and -800 series aircraft with modern glass cockpits, winglets and greater fuel efficiency.
The first E-170 arrived in Australia in September 2007 and by the end of the year the three on initial order had been delivered.
These were placed on limited-frequency services before full-scale operations were launched on 4 February 2008 with services from Sydney to Canberra (branded as 'Capital Jet' services), The flights to Canberra and the regional centres signified an effort to compete more directly with Qantas and its subsidiary Qantas Link operation, which flies to all three cities, and with independent Regional Express Airlines.
The Virgin Blue name was the result of an open competition; it was a play on the predominantly red livery and the Australian slang tradition of calling a red-headed male 'Blue' or 'Bluey'.
The timing of Virgin Blue's entry into the Australian market was fortunate as it was able to fill the vacuum created by the failure of Ansett Australia in September 2001.