Vanuatu schedule increase April 0817/04/2008
Thursday 17 April 2008: Virgin Blue’s sister carrier, Pacific Blue Airlines, has announced its intention to increase services between Port Vila and Brisbane.
From 18 June 2008, Pacific Blue Airlines will boost its flights from twice weekly to three times a week as a result of ongoing demand and strong support for Pacific Blue’s existing services.
Pacific Blue Airlines, the international airline of Virgin Blue, first launched flights to Port Vila in September 2004 and since then, there has been a surge in the number of tourists travelling to the tropical destination.
The number of people travelling to Vanuatu to visit friends and relatives has also increased, as has the number of Vanuatu locals who are taking advantage of Pacific Blue’s affordable high quality flights to travel to Australia and beyond.
According to the latest Department of Immigration* statistics:
The Brisbane-Port Vila market has grown by 35,080 passengers or 148% since Pacific Blue launched on the route
The Australian visitor arrivals into Vanuatu has increased by 53%
The holiday segment has grown by 53%
The strong statistics and ongoing support has given Pacific Blue the confidence to commit further resources to Vanuatu and add a third weekly flight on a Wednesday, to compliment the existing Monday and Saturday services.
It will provide travellers with a convenient mid-week option in both directions and will be ideally suited to those who want to enjoy a 2 or 3 or 4 day mini-break or make a quick visit back to their home country to celebrate a special event or occasion. It will also provide a new option and new opportunity for the conference market with the schedule ideally suited to offer a three day conference package to Vanuatu from Brisbane. The flying time between the two destinations is under three hours, making Vanuatu a highly desirable, accessible, affordable and convenient international holiday escape or conference option.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said, “The additional flight between Brisbane and Port-Vila is a clear indication of our faith in the Vanuatu market and its long term viability. Pacific Blue is particularly pleased it is the only airline operating to Vanuatu that can use its extensive domestic network in Australia to bring passengers to Vanuatu from all over Australia including Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Canberra and more. “
He continued, “We are very happy with the way Pacific Blue has contributed to Vanuatu’s current tourism boom and remain committed to further increasing the visitor arrivals to Vanuatu. The airline and its team will embark on a number of strategic campaigns with Vanuatu-based partners, including joint marketing campaigns and travel media visitations, to cement Vanuatu’s position as a South Pacific tourism hot spot.”
“Our experience in other parts of the South Pacific, in particular Samoa, has shown that joint efforts with Government and the local business community can bring long term economic, business and tourism benefits for the community. We will continue to discuss opportunities with the Government of Vanuatu on how Pacific Blue can help build strong and steadfast foundations for the local aviation and tourism industries.”
BRISBANE-PORT VILA SCHEDULE
BRISBANE-PORT VILA - EFFECTIVE 18 JUNE 2008
PORT VILA-BRISBANE – EFFECTIVE 18 JUNE 2008
* Source - Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Australia
Department of Transport and Regional Economics Australia
About Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue, and Virgin Blue Airlines
Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue, along with Australian domestic airline Virgin Blue, operate a fleet of 63 modern Boeing 737 and Embraer E-Jet aircraft flying to 24 Australian and eight international destinations including New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands. Polynesian Blue is Samoa’s national airline and a joint venture between the Government of Samoa and Virgin Blue Airlines.