• Passengers on board VA 1316 gifted free cruise 
  • Sir Richard Branson gave away $1million in gifts 

More than 150 Virgin passengers have been gifted a free cruise by the company’s founder Sir Richard Branson.

Those on board flight VA 1316 from Melbourne to Hobart on Thursday morning were left speechless when they were told they’d each been gifted a cruise worth up to $7,000.

Mr Branson had phoned in via FaceTime from his private island Necker, in the British Virgin Islands, to alert passengers they’d be going on a Virgin Voyages cruise.

The cruiseline which will launch in Australia next month, offers voyages around Australia and New Zealand.

Thursday morning’s flight was chosen as it is the same route Virgin’s cruiseship Resilient Lady will travel on her Mermaiden Voyage.

‘Well, today, you happen to be travelling on the same route as our Aussie MerMaiden Voyage,’ Mr Branson was heard saying over the flight’s PA system.

‘To celebrate this milestone, I’m pleased to gift each adult on-board a free Virgin Voyages cruise.’

Passengers immediately erupted into cheers and applause before cabin crew handed each person on board their free cruise voucher.

Cabin crew, baggage handlers and pilots on flight VA 1316 were also included in the mass giveaway, with more than $1million gifted by Mr Branson in total.

More to come 

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