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Virgin Blue Postpones Kalgoorlie Start

04/04/2005

Virgin Blue confirmed today it would reluctantly postpone its commencement of flights between Perth and Kalgoorlie due to start next Thursday 7 April, 2005 and would review its plan to operate the service.


The airline said protracted and as yet incomplete negotiations over fundamental operating requirements including airport facilities and disappointing booking levels had contributed to the decision.


Heather Jeffery, General Manager Public Affairs said, “We very much regret having to make this decision and to disappoint the people of Kalgoorlie, however we cannot responsibly commit the significant investment of an aircraft, staff and associated assets to fly a new route unless all of our contractual and commercial prerequisites are satisfied.


“We have not taken this decision lightly. Without the expedient and reasonable co-operation of all partners, and despite significant investment in advertising and promotional efforts, we must postpone in order to review the financial viability of operating at all,” she said.


“Early bookings gave us confidence that the route would be viable and we will continue our discussions with other stakeholders interested in seeing the service commence, however less than a week from a planned inaugural flight, we find ourselves in the difficult position of less than acceptable load factors and without answers on a number of critical airport requirements,” she said.


Virgin Blue will now commence contacting those people who had booked on the flights, in order to arrange full refunds.