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Virgin Blue Goes Troppo - 50% Increase In Cairns Flights

27/11/2003

More Low Fares To Tropical North Qld

Virgin Blue has announced plans to significantly ramp up Cairns capacity with an increase on routes to and from three east coast Capitals.


It follows strong support and rising demand for flights in and out of the popular destination, as more and more people take up the low fare opportunity to visit one of Australia’s high profile holiday havens.


By early May 2004, Virgin Blue will have gone from 6 departures a day to 9 daily, which represents a frequency increase of 50% for the Cairns market.


Cairns – Sydney 11 March 2004


Direct flights between Cairns and Sydney will increase from 2 to 3 per day, with the additional flight departing Cairns at 7.00am, arriving in Sydney at 9.50am coupled with an early evening departure from Sydney at 6.30pm, landing in Cairns at 9.40pm. This new addition provides an unbeatable business day return for the Cairns based traveller as well as more holiday seats for people who want to head from the office straight to the airport. Virgin Blue’s Mid-Week Mini-Fares start from $169* one way on the net.


Cairns – Melbourne 9 April 2004


The popular Melbourne route will go to two flights a day, with Virgin Blue the only airline operating a non-stop double daily service between Cairns and the Victorian Capital. It will depart Melbourne at the leisure friendly time of 8.30am, landing in Cairns at 11.55am and departing Cairns at 12.30pm, landing back in Melbourne at 3.50pm. Virgin Blue pioneered this service which before last year was only being offered on the weekends by its competitor. Virgin Blue’s Mid-Week Mini-Fares start from $179* one way on the net.


Cairns – Brisbane 8 May 2004


An additional daily direct flight between Cairns and Brisbane will take the schedule to 4 return flights a day. The new flight will leave Brisbane at 2.00pm, landing in Cairns at 4.25pm. It will depart at 5.00pm and arrive in Brisbane at 7.00pm, a convenient time for Brisbane based business travellers. Virgin Blue’s Mid-Week Mini-Fares start from $119* one way on the net.


Virgin Blue Head of Communications and Strategy, David Huttner said, “From whichever end of the country you are flying, Virgin Blue has demonstrated that we would rather add more seats than raise fares. We believe that Australian travellers know which airline has been about good value and great service since day one and which one has suddenly discovered that people are tired of paying extra for a box lunch. The new flights will provide more flexibility and flight options to people travelling to and from Cairns for business or pleasure.


David Huttner added, “The Cairns community has thrown its support behind Virgin Blue from day one and the airline has always vowed to support the regions that support low fares. Huge tourism demand and the strong performance of our new ‘Blue Holidays’ division is also a large factor in having the confidence to commit more flights to the Cairns routes. By sticking to our strategy we have been able to grow tourism in the Tropical North during a period when others cut back services. There is no reason that growth shouldn’t continue as this is what a true low fare airline does.”


Virgin Blue’s strong growth in both the leisure and business sectors has helped to account for the airline reaching a Total Domestic Market** share of 29% in the month of September according to the Department of Transport and Regional Services statistics (up from 28% in August as noted in Virgin Blue’s prospectus, p.52).


For Virgin Blue bookings log on to www.virginblue.com.au, call 13 6789 or contact a travel agent.

* All fares are for flights booked on the Internet. $10 more by phone. Mid-Week Mini-Fares are for travel on Tuesday and Wednesdays. Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak days.

** Total Domestic Market – all regular air transport operations within Australia including jet operations of regional carriers but excluding turbo prop aircraft operations of regional airlines with less than 8,000 passengers per month.