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Give Me Five - Virgin Blue Celebrates Its Fifth Birthday

31/08/2005

Virgin Blue today marks a key milestone in its history, notching up five years in the Australian domestic aviation market. The birthday will be celebrated by the airline’s staff who have been instrumental in helping build Virgin Blue into the successful carrier it is today.


Virgin Blue first introduced low fares to the Australian travelling public on this day five years ago, offering a special one-way fare between Brisbane and Sydney for $48. At the time, Australians had been used to paying between $140 and $345 for the exact same flight on traditional carriers, and Virgin Blue co-founder, Sir Richard Branson, made headlines and caused the cynics to scoff by promising everyday low fares would start from less than $100 one-way.


“The competitive aviation environment has changed considerably in the past five years, but Virgin Blue is staying true to its low cost model and fares are even lower today than what they were five years ago,” said Chief Executive Officer Brett Godfrey.


“I am really proud of our fantastic Virgin Blue team today and all of those who have contributed in the past to make air travel more affordable for more Australians,” he said.


“This is why 5687 past and present staff names are printed inside our blue 50th jet which arrived last month which is now flying around Australia. It is a 5th Birthday tribute to them all as individuals and to the efforts of the team,”


“Through their efforts in making Virgin Blue a success, air travel in Australia today is higher quality and more affordable than in many other countries. Today, it can be cheaper to fly interstate in Australia than it is to catch a cab to the airport.”


Virgin Blue is celebrating with a 5th Birthday sale until midnight on 1 September, 2005 with great value fares up for grabs in all markets from as low as:


Brisbane ↔ Newcastle $39*

Sydney ↔ Coffs Coast $39*

Melbourne ↔ Hobart $49*

Sydney ↔ Gold Coast $49*

Adelaide ↔ Melbourne $59*

“These fares are tax inclusive, so when you take into account the external costs imposed on the airline such as airport charges, noise levy, GST and the Global Security Charge, you can see these fares are true bargains,” Stefan Pichler, Chief Commercial Officer said.


All markets are included in the 5th Birthday sale on now until midnight September 1 2005, for travel between 1 February - 28 February 2006.


Guests travelling Virgin Blue today will be greeted at check-in by bright balloons, staff wearing special birthday badges and much good cheer.


Those travelling from Brisbane or Melbourne in the morning will also be treated to free Krispy Kreme doughnuts, while in Sydney the airline will mark the moment its first flight arrived in the NSW capital five years ago by cutting a giant Krispy Kreme doughnut birthday cake at 11am at the Virgin Blue Departure Gates – T2.


* 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 31 August 2005 and are subject to change. Fare is on sale from now until 1 September 2005 or until sold out, for travel between 1 February and 28 February 2005. For Virgin Blue bookings, log on www.virginblue.com.au , phone 13 6789 or contact a travel agent.