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Virgin Blue Offers Free Seats for Interstate Firefighters

08/01/2002

Virgin Blue today offered spare seats on flights to and from Sydney to assist the New South Wales fire fighting effort.


The company believed that so many had done so much to help in recent weeks, that it would only be right for Virgin Blue to lend a hand.


Rob Sherrard, Deputy CEO of Virgin Blue said, "Over the weekend we read how much has already been spent fighting the fires and it seems wrong that the states should be asked to give even more when we have some empty seats on business routes that tend not to run full in January.


He continued, “While it’s our hope that the worst of this tragic situation is behind us, we’ll be glad to assist by flying home any firefighter, especially those who gave up their holidays to help the effort. If further reinforcements are needed, we will be happy to bring them there and back as well.


“Since Virgin Blue flys to all the neighbouring states of NSW, it seems only natural we would extended our assistance on the routes where we’ve received strong support in recent months”, Rob Sherrard concluded.


Virgin Blue, who recently earned an $8 million profit for the six months to 30 September, believes it has responsibility to the community to pitch in at times like these when many have lost or given so much.


The airline will carry the firefighters and other key emergency service workers on confirmed seats on services between Sydney and Adelaide, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Melbourne.


Virgin Blue will forego all airfares and will only charge taxes, the Ansett levy and any other standard surcharges.


This offer will be valid for the next 15 days and Virgin Blue will review extending it if the bush fire situation still requires ongoing support.


The emergency services will be provided with a special reservation number to book seats.