Darwin Set To Become "Virgin Territory"!31/08/2001
Daily Flights To Commence By March 2002!
Australia's only low fare carrier, Virgin Blue, today announced plans to service the Northern Territory, offering direct daily Brisbane-Darwin flights by March next year.
In line with Virgin Blue tradition, a special launch fare of $150.00 one-way is now on offer for all seats for the first 15 days of operation from March 1 to March 15.
Virgin Blue owner, Richard Branson, made the announcement after touching down in Darwin early this morning, as the first stop on a visit to celebrate Virgin Blue's 1st birthday.
The decision to begin flights to Darwin is the result of huge public demand, the long-standing efforts of the Northern Territory Tourism Commission as well as the proactive commitment of the newly elected Clare Martin Government.
Richard Branson joined Chief Minister, Clare Martin and Virgin Blue CEO, Brett Godfrey, to announce a partnership that is structured to help reduce the Northern Territory's expenditure on travel costs, while boosting tourism into the Territory.
Virgin Blue will initially offer one direct daily service between Brisbane and Darwin, with planned connections to southern capitals to be announced at a later date.
Richard Branson said, "Today we would like to confirm that the Northern Territory is about to become Virgin Territory. We will be delighted to begin flights to and from Darwin as it is clearly a region where locals have been isolated due to both distance and the ridiculous and unfair cost of air travel."
Virgin Blue's everyday low fares will start from $249.00* one-way with Fully Flexible walk-up (most expensive) fare of $499.00* one-way.
He continued, "We know from experience that the moment we start flying to Darwin, our competitors will suddenly drop their fares. If the other airlines really believe that low fares are the way to go, we hope they start offering "Territorians" a fair deal now, without limited availability and silly restrictions. We call on the competition to lower fares now and not wait until we enter the market."
While the new direct service is expected to benefit "Territorians" wanting to travel to visit family and friends or conduct business affordably, the Brisbane-Darwin route will also nurture Top End tourism, with competitive airfares making the Northern Territory a more attractive holiday option.
Richard Branson and the rest of the Virgin Blue team will continue this afternoon from Darwin to Virgin Blue's home base in Brisbane to join Virgin Blue staff in celebrating the airline's first birthday milestone in true aviation style at a traditional "hangar party".
Comparison of one-way fares between Brisbane and Darwin
|Virgin Blue||Competition||Virgin Blue lower by %|
* All fares noted are based on bookings on the net. As per Virgin Blue policy, seats booked over the phone are $5.00 more.