Virgin Australia has announced plans to allow small cats and dogs on specific domestic routes within the country. The policy is expected to launch in the next 12 months, pending regulatory approval.

This move follows the lead of North American airlines such as United Airlines and Air Canada, and will allow pets to travel in designated rows only, carried in an approved carrier under the seat in front of their owner.

Pets will not be allowed to roam freely or sit on laps and the carrier must be provided by the owner.

Virgin Australia aims to bring pets onto planes

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka stated that the airline had received feedback from customers who wanted to travel with their pets, and the company was now working to make it a reality.

“Overwhelmingly, our guests tell us they want to travel with their pets, and we are now on a journey to make that a reality,” Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said.

More information, including fees and routes available for the service, will be announced at a later date.

This new policy will not affect the policy around approved assistance animals, which will still be able to travel in the cabin at no extra cost.

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