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Virgin Blue and Qantas Respond to Ansett Crisis Special "Distress Fares" Offered To Ansett Passengers

14/09/2001

Virgin Blue and Qantas have responded immediately to the cessation of Ansett's services, offering special discounted fares to Ansett passengers left stranded.


By this afternoon, special Ansett passenger "help desks" will be set up at key Virgin Blue ports and the entire Virgin Blue team is working overtime to deal with the immediate ramifications of this unprecedented situation.


Virgin Blue is also looking at a number of immediate relief options, such as operating additional flights out of normal hours and potentially bringing in extra aircraft.


Where possible, Virgin Blue will initially increase capacity on existing routes while evaluating what can be done on the routes Virgin Blue currently doesn't fly.


Head of Commercial David Huttner said, "In light of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding today's events, Virgin Blue and Qantas have jointly decided to offer special fares to ticketed Ansett passengers, and we have confirmed that the ACCC has no objection to this temporary arrangement. We are currently operating at near full capacity but will do our best to ensure that no seat goes out empty".


Ansett Disrupted Passenger fares will be offered on all Virgin Blue Routes where there is space available. These fares are available through the Virgin Blue website, www.virginblue.com.au or through the Call Centre on 13 6789.


Virgin Blue is urging people to use the website wherever possible as airport and call centre staff are being flooded with enquiries.


A special web page has been set up on the Virgin Blue website for Ansett staff seeking employment and as jobs become available, Virgin Blue will review those applications as a priority.


One way Fares & Conditions:
Sydney-Brisbane: $129.80
Sydney-Adelaide: $179.30
Sydney-Coolangatta: $129.80
Sydney-Melbourne: $149.60
Brisbane-Melbourne: $220.00
Brisbane-Adelaide: $239.80
Brisbane-Townsville: $170.30
Brisbane-Canberra: $179.30
Melbourne-Adelaide: $129.80


Fares will be available later today and valid until to 31 October 2001.