(Adds comment from Virgin in paragraph 2)
SYDNEY Oct 2 Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd
VBA.AX, Australia's second-biggest airline, said on Thursday
it had delayed the launch of its new long-haul service V
Australia by over two months due to a strike at aircraft maker
Boeing (BA.N). Virgin, whose shares have been battered due to
high fuel prices along with other airlines, said it will be
offering alternative travel arrangements to all affected
"Boeing advised its customers, including V Australia, that
it cannot predict the duration of the dispute and therefore
cannot guarantee the delivery date of the airline's launch
aircraft," Virgin Blue said in a statement.
The airline said the revised launch date for V Australia,
which will provide flights to the United States, was Feb. 28,
Virgin shares were up 1.4 percent at A$0.37 in a flat
overall market . The stock is down about 82 percent in
2008, compared with a 24 percent fall in the benchmark index.
Virgin had planned daily flights between Sydney and Los
Angeles from December after Australia and the United States
opened up trans-Pacific air routes between the two countries in
V Australia will become the second Australian airline after
Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) to fly the route.
(Reporting by James Thornhill and Denny Thomas)