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Virgin Blue Announces Direct Hamilton Island Flights

21/04/2005

Strong Demand For Virgin Service To Key Whitsunday Islands


Virgin Blue has announced it will launch direct daily flights between Brisbane and the Great Barrier Reef Airport on Hamilton Island from 15 June following overwhelming regional support for the airline to introduce its award winning service to the Whitsunday Islands.


The direct service into Hamilton Island will expand Virgin Blue’s existing routes giving passengers a convenient gateway to the Whitsunday Islands, from all over Australia via connections from Brisbane.


This announcement is in response to lobbying from the Whitsunday Islands business and tourism community seeking access to competing airline services.


Virgin Blue Chief Commercial Officer, Stefan Pichler said, “Our research had made it clear to us that travellers want excellent service when flying in and out of Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef Airport and we are confident that Virgin Blue’s commitment to outstanding service will provide Guests and locals with the quality product they deserve on top of affordable fares.”


To celebrate the announcement, Virgin Blue is offering a special launch fare of $49* one-way on the Internet (plus taxes, fees and surcharges of $65) for the direct Hamilton-Brisbane flights. The sale fare is available now until 27 April for flights from 15 June to 31 July 2005. Everyday low fares will start from $79* (plus taxes, fees and surcharges from $65) one-way on the net.


Stefan Pichler continued, “The new Hamilton Island route is part of Virgin Blue’s ongoing strategy to continue its domestic expansion in markets that are crying out for great service and great fares. We believe travellers will appreciate the pre-allocated seating, live in-flight television (to be introduced across the fleet of modern 737 aircraft later this year), Blue Room access in Brisbane, greater leg room as well as the overall Virgin Blue experience.”


Hamilton Island’s Managing Director Wayne Kirkpatrick says the commencement of Virgin Blue services to Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef Airport heralds good news to holiday makers, international visitors and conference delegates.


“The entire Whitsunday region will benefit from the new Virgin Blue flights and we welcome this exciting new initiative to have two airlines servicing the area,” said Mr Kirkpatrick.


“Holidaying on Hamilton Island is all about choices – choice and variety of accommodation, choices in dining and activities and now choice of airlines. We are confident that our guests seeking a Great Barrier Reef experience with all of the trimmings, will welcome the in-flight service and facilities offered by Virgin Blue.”


“As a Queensland based airline, we look forward to working closely with the entire Whitsunday region to develop tourism opportunities for locals and visitors, in what can only be a win-win for all,” Stefan Pichler added.


Virgin Blue will closely monitor support for the Brisbane-Hamilton Island service and if successful, the airline will consider additional future route opportunities in and out of Hamilton Island from other destinations.


Convenient flight connections will be available between Hamilton Island and Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, New Zealand, Perth and Sydney.


* Fares are one-way on the net, or $10 more by phone. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per one way flight is applicable. Taxes, fees and surcharges are correct as at 21 April 2005 and are subject to change. Fare is on sale from now until 27 April 2005 or until sold out, for travel between 15 June and 31 July 2005.