Virgin Blue Lands Low Fares In Mackay30/10/2001
Virgin Blue’s brand new Next Generation 737 aircraft touched down in Mackay for the first time today marking the low fare carrier’s entry into another regional Queensland destination and signaling a new era in air travel for the people of Mackay.
The airline kicked off its direct daily service and will be working with local operators to offer direct airport bus connections, positioning Mackay as the affordable gateway to the stunning Whitsunday’s region.
On arrival in Mackay, more than 20 Virgin Blue team members, including Chief Executive Officer, Brett Godfrey, strutted off the inaugural flight sporting newly cropped heads in support of the Leukaemia Foundation.
“We figured it was a great cause to raise a bit of money for and since our new Mackay route is tipped to be a hot one, we thought we’d prepare ourselves”, Brett Godfrey laughed.
Virgin Blue staff raised more than $1,300 for the Foundation, matched by the company and topped up during a spontaneous on board collection on today’s launch flight.
The Mackay service is the latest in a number of new Virgin Blue destinations, as Australia’s only low fare carrier continues its accelerated expansion in to both capital city and regional centres.
“As Queensland’s state carrier, one of our primary ambitions is offering low fares and Virgin Blue’s service style to as many regional Queenslanders as possible. Up until now, the people of Mackay and the Whitsunday's have been largely ignored and we are confident the arrival of Virgin Blue will have a clear benefit to local business and tourism”, said Brett Godfrey.
“Each time Virgin Blue launches new routes, other airlines see fit to drop their fares as well. We are delighted to inspire such competition and in turn provide business and leisure travellers with an affordable option. We hope people recognise which airline made these great deals possible.”
Virgin Blue also welcomed on board its 2-millionth passenger on Monday, marking yet another company milestone.
Virgin Blue operates the most modern, technologically advanced aircraft in Australia today, with an average age of less than 4 years, compared with Qantas’s average fleet age of 10.8 years. (Salomon Smith Barney 2001 Fleet handbook)