Yes, Virgin's high speed aircraft will change the way people travel. It will enable individuals to get to places much faster. But it will be a while before this becomes available to everyone. For now it will be cost prohibitive to most travelers. But as prices go down, more travelers will come aboard.
I do believe that the research and development that Virgin is doing to further aircraft technology will affect the way people from around the world travel in the future. While there have been many stumbling blocks, Virgin continues to persevere in order to change the way that people experience travel in the air.
In my opinion, Virgin's new aircraft will not catch on within the broader airline industry. In the past, various attempts at changing the way airplanes function and fly, such as the Concorde, have only ever met with mild interest. Most were not profitable, and that is a serious concern in an industry where it is a struggle not to lose money on a given flight.
Air travel contributes to pollution far more than rail travel does. As technologies improve to allow for more efficient and speedy rail travel, it will become the more dominant mode of travel. A new high speed aircraft will be of less benefit to most people than would be high speed rail.