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Virgin BLue's First 'Premium Economy' Guests Take to Sky on Saturday

14/03/2008

Brisbane, Australia: Virgin Blue Airlines is pleased to announce that it will carry its, and Australia’s, first “Premium Economy” Guest this Saturday, 15 March 2008. The new front end “Premium Economy” product went on sale across the Australian domestic network on 22 February, with the first travel date of 15 March 2008.


Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said, “Launching a premium offering is an exciting move for us and is another example of Virgin Blue’s continual evolution and we are confident the introduction of Premium Economy will meet the discerning needs of many travellers.”


On the airline’s Boeing aircraft, the first three rows of red leather Recaro seats are converted into a spacious 2 x 2 seating arrangement with an average seat pitch in excess of 34 inches, as well as specially designed, moveable inner armrests that shift across to increase the overall seat width. The former middle seat-back also folds down to become either a personal cocktail table or additional work space, leaving only the sought after window and aisle seats available for Premium Economy Guests. The product will also be available on Virgin Blue’s three current, and future, Embraer E-Jets.


The introduction of a domestic premium product is a reflection of the airline’s ongoing New World Carrier strategy which is aimed at catering to the needs of contemporary business travellers.


Premium Economy offers:


Priority Check-in.

Complimentary access to The Lounge.

Priority Boarding.

Seating in front three rows of each aircraft.

2 x 2 seating with no middle seat compared to the current 3 x 3 seating on all Boeing aircraft.

Comfortable leather seating with additional leg room through an increased seat pitch averaging in excess of 34 inches, as well as increased seat width, giving increased personal space and greater comfort.

Increased checked baggage allowance of 32 kg.

Fully Flexible and fully refundable fares.


Virgin Blue’s existing Blue Zone seating featuring additional leg room in the over wing emergency exits will remain, however the first row of the aircraft will become a Premium Economy seat option so will no longer be available as Blue Zone.

 

Premium Economy is now on sale across the entire network and is competitively priced to reflect the range of product inclusions on a route by route basis. For example, the Sydney-Melbourne Premium Economy fare is $389* one way on the internet, Canberra-Sydney is $269* one way on the internet, Brisbane-Sydney $399* one way on the internet and Melbourne-Brisbane is $599* one way on the internet. * Standard terms and conditions apply.

 

Comparison Chart B737

SYD-MEL
 
Virgin Blue Premium Economy
 
Vs
 
Qantas Fully Flexible Economy Class fare
 

Price

(one way on the internet)
 

$389
 
 $412
 
Seating2 x 2

(Window and aisle seats only - No middle seat)
 

 3 x 3

(window, middle, aisle)
 

Seat Pitch

(On Avg)
 

 >34 inches
 
 30 – 32 inches
 

Priority Seating

- First three rows
 

ü
 
 X
 
Complimentary access to The Lounge
 
ü
 
 X
 
Priority Check-in
 
ü
 
 X
 
Priority Boarding
 
ü
 
 X
 
Fully Flexible and fully refundable fares
 
ü
 
 ü
 

    
Multi award winning airline Virgin Blue and international carriers Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue currently operate a fleet of 60 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. Virgin Blue was the first airline in the world to launch a Government-certified carbon offset program, where Guests can offset the carbon emissions from their flights. Virgin Blue Group has also announced plans to launch Australia's newest international airline, V Australia, set to commence flights between Australia and the USA from late 2008, subject to regulatory approvals.