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Virgin Blue Wins OAG Best Low Cost Airline Of The Year Award

21/05/2004

Low Fare Leader Scoops Award Pool

Virgin Blue has been named OAG Best Low Cost Airline of the Year for 2004 ahead of highly respected low fare heavy weights Southwest Airlines, Ryanair and easyJet.


The prestigious award was presented at a glittering ceremony at the Park Lane Hotel, London in recognition of Virgin Blue’s high standards within the global industry.


The low fare leader was short listed in the category of “Best Low Cost/No Frills Airline” and took out the award after only four years in the market.


Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, “This is a phenomenal achievement for our entire team and we are thoroughly excited about being recognised, especially up against such esteemed competition. Southwest, Ryanair and easyJet are outstanding operations and well known and highly regarded for launching the low fare airline concept into the world market. Full credit goes to our 3,500 strong team for making Virgin Blue the airline it is today.”


Virgin Blue introduced the low fare model to Australian travellers in August 2000 but deviated from the traditional style by combining low fares with a high quality product, including brand new aircraft with leather seats. It bucked the “no frills” trend by offering value added extras such as in-flight menu, Blue Room lounges, valet parking and other innovations.


“We set out to change the way people travel in Australia by making it affordable, fun and friendly but with a huge focus on quality. It really shows that all our hard work and dedication is paying off and that our Guests appreciate our exceptional service, value for money product, innovative nature and fun attitude.”


Virgin Blue President Richard Branson congratulated the team on hearing the news of the award.


“I am absolutely delighted for everyone at Virgin Blue who have put their heart and soul into their airline. To be ranked number one in the world in such a short amount of time is a huge achievement. Not bad for a little airline that didn’t even exist four years ago.”


He added, “A huge thank you to the entire team at Virgin Blue and of course the twenty million Guests who have been so supportive and loyal to the airline.”


The OAG award follows hot on the heels of last week’s Customer Service Institute Awards in which Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey was named “CEO Of the Year” for his role in steering the airline’s customer service strategy and philosophy.


Brett Godfrey said, “We're extremely proud of our dynamic, innovative customer service team both on the ground and in the air and it’s the easy things like in-flight face painting or a friendly smile that make a big difference.”


Virgin Blue currently operates a fleet of 41 Next Generation Boeing 737 aircraft between 21 destinations nationally and has recently launched ‘Pacific Blue’, its New Zealand based sister airline that began Trans-Tasman services in January 2004.


Please visit www.oag.com for further information with regards to the OAG Awards, and

www.csia.com.au for further information with regards to the Australian Service Excellence Awards