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Pacific Blue Touches Down At Tullamarine

04/03/2004

Direct Flights Between NZ And Melbourne

Virgin Blue’s low fare international carrier, Pacific Blue^, will land for the first time at Melbourne International Airport at 8.00am today bringing with it a full load of enthusiastic travellers and new opportunities for Victoria’s buzzing tourism industry.


Pacific Blue, the sister carrier to domestic airline Virgin Blue, launched flights between Australia and New Zealand just weeks ago and is now bringing its Trans-Tasman low fares to the Melbourne market to complement its existing daily Christchurch-Brisbane service.


From today, Pacific Blue will offer direct flights between Melbourne and Christchurch with Mid Week Mini Fares starting from $199* one-way on the net, with an everyday low fare starting from $219* one-way on the net and with a Fully Flexible fare of $449* one-way on the net.


Victorians are set to benefit from affordable Trans-Tasman fares and more options to jet across the Tasman to hit the ski slopes, take in some of the breathtaking landscape or get into some adrenaline sports such as jet boat riding or bungee jumping. For those with family and friends in New Zealand, it provides an affordable excuse to fly over for a visit.


While it will be great for Victorians wanting to travel to New Zealand, the new flights will also be a boost for tourism in Victoria.


Virgin Blue Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, “Melbourne has always been one of Virgin Blue’s most popular destinations domestically and we have no doubt the city’s many shopping, sporting and cultural attractions will appeal to New Zealanders looking for a week’s entertainment or a weekend mini-break.”


Pacific Blue will bring hundreds of additional visitors to Melbourne each week on its modern 737-800 series aircraft, complete with leather seats and performance enhancing “winglets”.


Pacific Blue CEO Tony Marks said while its early days, forward bookings for flights between the two cities are trending well.


“Today’s flights in both directions are fully booked and that’s as great a start as you can get, so clearly we are happy with that.”


He added, “We will keep a close eye on demand as we settle in to the market to ascertain the need for more flights in the future but rest assured, we plan on giving the competition a good run for its money in Melbourne, like Virgin Blue has done domestically.”


After today, Pacific Blue flights will depart Christchurch at 6:10am, landing in Melbourne at 8:00am before turning around and departing at 9:00am, arriving back in New Zealand at 2:20pm.


^ Virgin Blue Airlines Pty Ltd trading as Pacific Blue.

* All fares are for flights booked on the Internet. $10 more by phone. Mid- Week Mini-Fares are for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak days.