Virgin Blue Lands Jet Service in Albury-Wodonga05/02/2008
1 CENT* FARE TO CELEBRATE 1ST FLIGHTS
The first commercial Virgin Blue flight from Sydney will touch down in Albury at 3.40pm today, with an aircraft full of eager visitors and locals the first to sample the low fares, modern red E-Jets and outstanding customer service that the airline will introduce twice daily to the region from now on.
A host of VIPs will take part in the launch celebrations with The Hon. Tony Kelly, NSW Minister for Regional Development, Tracey Bevan, General Manager, The McGrath Foundation, and Stefan Pichler, Virgin Blue Chief Commercial Officer, all onboard the historic flight today.
To celebrate the occasion, Virgin Blue has announced it will offer 1,000 x 1 CENT* one-way fares for flights between Albury and Sydney, INCLUSIVE of $44 of government taxes and surcharges which the airline will pick up and pay for. The special 1000 1 CENT* internet only ‘Fast and Furious’ fares will go on sale at 8.00pm tomorrow, Wednesday 6 February, for four hours until midnight Wednesday 6 February or until sold out. The travel period is from 7 February 2008 to 30 June 2008.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive Officer, Brett Godfrey, said, “We’re excited to be bringing a serious jet service to the Albury Wodonga region as people in regional areas deserve the same air service and product that is readily available to people in metropolitan areas and, given the greater distance from other major centres, it’s very important to have reliable and affordable air services connecting regional people to the capital cities for many reasons.”
He continued, “As well as providing convenient travel for business travellers with double daily flights, we are hopeful the new services will drive increased tourism to the region as has been experienced by other regional centres such as Coffs Harbour and Ballina following the introduction of Virgin Blue services.”
NSW Minister for Regional Development, The Hon. Tony Kelly, said, “The NSW Government welcomes the decision by Virgin Blue to commence services to Albury offering regular, affordable jet services to this important regional location, providing a boost for the local economy as well as to tourism and business sectors."
Virgin Blue will operate its new executive style EMBRAER jet on the route, providing Guests with a superior level of traveller comfort, spacious leather 2 x 2 seating and a whisper quiet flight. The E-Jet will also provide a quicker flight than traditional turbo-prop services for the convenience of busy Guests. The jets carry up to 78 passengers in the E-170 and 104 in the slightly larger E-190.
The new service is aimed at both leisure and business travellers and offers additional perks and services for the discerning traveller including Virgin Blue’s Sydney “The Lounge” facility, Velocity Frequent Flyer program and shortly, the new “Premium Economy” in-flight option.
Virgin Blue will operate double daily flights between Sydney and Albury and will closely monitor demand for the services before evaluating other potential routes into and out of the city. Connections will be available from Albury via Sydney to Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Perth and Melbourne.
Today’s launch flight will feature Virgin Blue’s traditional in-flight celebrations including free champagne, special limited edition launch flight t-shirt giveaway as well as an in-flight auction and fundraising efforts with all proceeds donated to the McGrath Foundation which funds a fulltime breast care nurse for the Albury Wodonga region.
Multi award winning airline Virgin Blue and international carriers Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue currently operate a fleet of 61 modern Boeing 737 and Embraer E-Jet aircraft flying to 23 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.
* All fares are for flights booked on the internet or $15 more when booked by phone. Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak times. A credit card surcharge of an additional $3 per person per one way flight is applicable. Credit card surcharge will not apply to 1000 1 cent Fast and Furious fares. For Virgin Blue bookings log on to www.virginblue.com.au or phone our award winning Guest Contact Centre on 13 6789 or contact a travel agent.