Fancy A Frolic In The Tropics?02/11/2001
Direct Brisbane-Cairns Flights. Virgin Blue Will Also Be Delivering Christmas Present To Darwin
Flights Brought Forward To December & Mt.Isa Schedule Extended To 30 March
Virgin Blue today made the long awaited announcement it will launch direct flights between Brisbane and Cairns following months of overwhelming demand and support for the service.
Direct flights from Cairns to Brisbane will commence from November 29, just in time to offer the people of Far North Queensland low fares and real competition for the busy Christmas/New Year holiday period.
The low fare carrier will start off with a one flight a day service to Cairns, one of Australia's premier tourist destinations, adding yet another Queensland centre to Virgin Blue's expanding route network.
The announcement comes just days after Virgin Blue launched its latest Brisbane-Mackay service.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said, "It's no secret that Cairns is considered a key holiday destination and we are excited to soon be flying in to one of our home state's most popular centres. Its economy is clearly dependent on competitive air services and only Virgin Blue is able to ensure that competition will keep the air fair in the Tropical North."
He continued "The arrival of Virgin Blue will mean low fares are not only available to holiday makers who plan in advance, but also to the businesspeople and residents of Cairns who often have to pay high prices for making travel plans at the last minute."
Virgin Blue's everyday low fares will start from $149* one way, with Virgin Blue's Fully Flexible fare at $339*, 35% less than the competition's Fully Flexible fare of $502 one way.
Virgin Blue made this announcement in conjunction with the decision to bring Darwin services forward to before Christmas and to extend the Mt. Isa schedule up until the end of March 2002. This was done with the enthusiastic cooperation of both the Queensland and the Northern Territory Governments, the local tourism authorities as well as the Federal Government who has assisted by offering incentives on routes that would otherwise be subject to a high priced monopoly.
Brett Godfrey noted "The Federal support only allows us to make an early kick start to some services that we intended to operate in 2002. After the launch period it will be up to us to make these routes succeed in their own right. Given our track record to date, we believe that the vast majority of the assistance won't be necessary, but it will allow us to tackle an aggressive competitor who has a number of commercial advantages and is currently on many Australian routes.
Brisbane-Cairns will have daily services from 29 November. On December 20, Brisbane-Darwin daily services will start, in addition to a second Brisbane-Cairns service. Exact schedules will be announced shortly.
Virgin Blue operates the most modern, technologically advanced aircraft in Australia today, with an average age of less than 4 years, compared with Ansett's average fleet age of 11.7 years and Qantas with an average fleet age of 10.8 years (Salomon Smith Barney 2001 Fleet handbook).
*Including GST, excluding levies and taxes. Internet fares, $5 more via Call Centre