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Pacific Blue’S First Trans-Tasman Flight Takes Off

29/01/2004

New International Carrier Means High Fares Are No Longer A Barrier

Pacific Blue’s first flight will take off from Christchurch today at 11.00am, offering the same unique service style that has been so popular in Australia and will now be available on the trans-Tasman markets.


The first flight from Christchurch to Brisbane will take off following a fun-filled “Queensland Beach Party” themed launch celebration ceremony and send-off.


Among those on hand to celebrate the historic first flight will be the Prime Minister of New Zealand, The RT Honourable Helen Clark, Pacific Blue CEO, Tony Marks and David Huttner, Head of Strategy and Communications, Virgin Blue.


The inaugural flight heralds the first step into the international market following the successful launch of domestic carrier Virgin Blue in August 2000.


Pacific Blue will initially fly daily between Christchurch and Brisbane but will shortly expand its international flight options with the introduction of direct flights between Christchurch and Melbourne on March 4 as well as Christchurch and Sydney on March 10. The airline’s direct daily Wellington - Sydney flights will also take off on March 10.


Mid-Week Mini-Fares between Christchurch and Brisbane start from $169* one-way on the net, making travelling to Australia as affordable and easy as jumping on a Virgin Blue flight when they’re in Australia.


Among the big winners will be Kiwi’s with friends and family in Australia, as well as New Zealand tourists keen to take advantage of the stunning beaches, shopping and cultural activities available in Australia.


Pacific Blue CEO, Tony Marks said, “It’s all about taking the success of the Virgin Blue product and emulating it across the Tasman to provide the people in both Australia and New Zealand with more flight options and more destinations.”


Pacific Blue Cabin Crew have spent the past month flying in Australia with their Virgin Blue counterparts as part of their training to ensure the same “Virgin flair” and outstanding customer service standards are shared by both carriers.


Tony added, “Our team is extremely enthusiastic and motivated which will guarantee a great experience for Guests who choose to fly with Pacific Blue. I can tell you this…flying with us will never be boring!


“We are gearing up to give all the carriers on the trans-Tasman a run for their money and believe it’s about time some fresh competition gave the market a bit of a shake-up. We believe the future of air travel worldwide lies with low fare carriers that provide a value-for-money, outstanding and innovative product.”


David Huttner, Head of Virgin Blue Strategy and Communications, said, “A tad ironic is how I would describe the recent move by other airlines to cut their trans-Tasman air fares.


While we find the imitation flattering, we think travellers will see through it and realise that other airlines haven’t reduced fares because they suddenly think it’s a nice thing to do. Traditional or “dinosaur” airlines are beginning to recognise that Virgin Blue and Pacific Blue have the right formula for future viability, and competition is forcing them to provide better fares to the benefit of the travelling public.”


He added, “Australia is the most popular international destination for New Zealanders while New Zealand is where the majority of Australians go when they travel off-shore. We are confident the launch of Pacific Blue will get more people travelling between the two countries, whether to visit family and friends or sample the plethora of tourist options at both ends of the trans-Tasman market.”


The Australia-New Zealand route is Pacific Blue’s first international foray but the carrier is also evaluating the potential of a number of other fantastic South Pacific destinations.


Pacific Blue is a New Zealand based low fare carrier operating a fleet of bright red, brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, emblazoned with flypacificblue.com on the side. The aircraft are fresh from the Boeing factory in Seattle and carry the most
modern technology in the South Pacific. The aircraft carry 180 Guests and feature leather seats pitched to 31” or more. Bookings can be made by logging on to www.flypacificblue.com, by calling 13 16 45 or by contacting your local travel agent.


* Mid-Week Mini-Fares are for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak days.


Please note from 21 March 2004 the schedule will change due to daylight saving time.


FARE INFORMATION FOR THE NEW ZEALAND ORIGINATING MARKET


As per industry practice all fares in New Zealand are shown in NZ$ and exclude all taxes and charges

CHRISTCHURCH TO BRISBANE

Everyday Low Fares:

Mid-Week Mini-Fare: NZ$169*

Fair fare (lead in price): NZ$189*


Fully flexible fare: NZ$349*

* Fares are quoted ex-New Zealand one way on the net or $10 more by phone (all prices and charges are in NZD).