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Virgin Blue To Add Early Morning Flight From Mackay

20/09/2004

Low Fare Carrier Responds To Business Community Needs

Virgin Blue has announced it will introduce an early morning departure from Mackay to Brisbane following enthusiastic encouragement from the local business community, Mackay Port Authority, Mackay City Council and local MP Tim Mulherin.


The airline has spent the past few months reviewing the situation since Qantas downgraded their service to Mackay. Virgin Blue already operates two daily flights between Mackay and Brisbane and will trial on a “use it or lose it” basis, a third flight departing at 6.10am and arriving into Brisbane at 7.30am as of 26 November 2004. It also means an additional evening flight that will depart Brisbane at 7.15pm and arrive into Mackay at 8.45pm allowing for a full day’s business in Brisbane.


Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey said "We are encouraged by the commitment offered by the Mackay City Council, the Mackay Port Authority and the Chamber of Commerce and this has enabled us to initiate the trial of this service. However, the first 6 months will be crucial and so it's now down to the businesses and community of Mackay to come to the party and justify the need for this service on a year round basis."


Brett continued “The viability of this service depends on support in both directions and we are more than happy to respond to the needs of the business community in regional centres, especially when other carriers let them down. We’ve received tremendous support from the people of Mackay and while our existing two flights are well suited to the leisure market, we will do our utmost to give our loyal business flyers an even better flight option to suit their schedule.”


Brett Godfrey continued "With this additional service the Brisbane to Mackay route will be the first major market in Queensland where Virgin Blue now offers the highest frequency and capacity share of all airlines servicing the market. It goes to show that where you offer not only great value but also great service in terms of schedule, nationwide connections and fantastic inflight service it's a successful formula that can't be beaten. Unlike other airline groups who have either ignored or downgraded service to regional centres like Mackay we have done the opposite and it's now over to the people and businesses of Mackay to support the airline that's supporting them."


The introduction of the new flight means an aircraft and crew members will overnight in Mackay each night for the first time. It will also provide additional convenient connections for Mackay business people travelling further south to Canberra, Melbourne & Sydney. The new services will also make available new connections to Christchurch New Zealand, Fiji & Vanuatu for the first time. Fares for Virgin Blue flights between Mackay and Brisbane start from $79* one way on the internet.