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Pacific Blue Delivers On Promise - Announcing Direct Flights To The Cook Islands

11/11/2004

Sydney - Rarotonga Flights Take Off In The New Year

Christchurch based airline Pacific Blue has announced it will launch weekly flights to the Cook Islands from 19 March 2005 as part of its expansion plans for the region.


The low fare airline will operate a flight every Saturday with a service that begins in Sydney and flies via Christchurch to Rarotonga. Connecting services will also be available from Brisbane and Melbourne.


As a launch special Pacific Blue is offering a one-way fare of AUD$349* ex Sydney on the net for flights booked from now until 19 November 2004 for travel from 19 March until 25 June 2005.


Rarotonga will be the third tropical South Pacific destination the low fare airline flies to following the launch of services from Australia to Fiji and Vanuatu earlier this year. The new flights will also compliment Pacific Blue’s Gold Coast- Christchurch and Brisbane–Wellington services that took off for the first time last week


Pacific Blue Chief Executive, Tony Marks, said, “We see this as a natural expansion for Pacific Blue and are confident it will introduce competition and affordable airfares to the Cook Islands. This is a great opportunity for visitors not just from Sydney and New Zealand’s South Island but also from Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide which will have very convenient connections.”


“While Pacific Blue’s Saturday schedule is ideal for visitors who want to take a seven day break, we would recommend they stay for two weeks as there are so many fantastic options to choose from in the Cook Islands. Not only is Rarotonga a stunning and affordable island holiday destination with great trekking, beaches, family friendly accommodation and a variety of water sports, tourists can also visit Atiu to get a better view of the traditional life of Cook Islanders or the stunning Aututaki Lagoon with its romantic unspoilt lagoon which is considered one of the gems of the South Pacific,” he added.


Tony Marks continued, “As we have seen with services from Christchurch across the Tasman, only real competition brings better fares to the market and while the Cook Islands tourism industry will benefit, so too will potential visitors who would not have otherwise been able to afford to travel due to monopolistic pricing and inconvenient schedules and connections.”


“We are delighted to be able to announce a Saturday service and the decision has been met with great excitement from wholesalers and hoteliers both in the Cook Islands and New Zealand. With our competition already going to extraordinary measures to maintain their stranglehold on what has been a lucrative monopoly, we won’t be the least bit surprised if they too come up with a more convenient weekend schedule after imitating our original initiative. Certainly the public knows that Pacific Blue is pushing innovation, while our competition is trying to use the taxpayer’s money to stifle it,” he finished.


Pacific Blue will operate one of its modern 737- 800 jets on the route and will closely monitor demand for the flights and consider reviewing the need for more weekly flights or other destinations depending on increasing demand.


SCHEDULE

CHRISTCHURCH – RAROTONGA – EFFECTIVE 19 MARCH 2005

19 March 2005 ONLY

DJ 151 Christchurch-Rarotonga – Departs: 5.45pm (Sat)Arrives: 11.35pm -1 (Fri)
DJ 150 Rarotonga-Christchurch –Departs: 12.20am (Sat)Arrives: 3.45am +1 (Sun)


26 March 2005 - 24 September 2005


DJ 151 CHC-RAR 1745/0035 ****NB This flight departs and arrives on a Sat
DJ 150 RAR-CHC 0120/0445 +1 (Sun)

All times are local.

SYDNEY – RAROTONGA – EFFECTIVE 19 MARCH 2005

DJ 190/151 Sydney–Rarotonga (via Christchurch) –Departs: 12.00pm (Sat)Arrives: 11.35pm -1 (Fri)
DJ 150/191 Rarotonga-Sydney (via Christchurch) –Departs: 12.20am (Sat)Arrives: 8.50am +1 (Sun)


All times are local

Schedule note: From 26 March 2005 DJ 151 departs Christchurch at 5.45pm on Saturday and travels over the International Date Line to arrive in Rarotonga at 11.35pm on the Friday before departure.

Schedule note: From 26 March 2005 DJ150 departs Rarotonga at 12.20am on Saturday and travels over the International Date Line to arrive in Christchurch at 4.45am on the Sunday after departure.

* Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak days. Fares are quoted ex-Australia one-way on the net or $10 more by phone and include taxes and charges.

International flights are offered by Pacific Blue Airlines (Aust) Pty Ltd and operated by Pacific Blue Airlines (NZ) Ltd (wholly owned subsidiaries of Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd.)