Polynesian Blue Launches Into South Pacific Skies31/10/2005
A new era in South Pacific air travel will be launched today when the first flight of Polynesian Blue takes off from Auckland International Airport bound for Samoa.
Polynesian Blue is the innovative joint venture airline formed by Virgin Blue and the Government of Samoa and is set to help cement Samoa’s position as one of the South Pacific’s travel gems.
The new airline will offer affordable, high quality flights to Samoa from both New Zealand and Australia as well as giving Samoans more affordable year round fares. Polynesian Blue becomes a stable-mate to Virgin Blue (based in Australia) and Pacific Blue (based in New Zealand).
The inaugural flight which will take off from Auckland at 10am today will also reveal Polynesian Blue's livery for the first time - a trademark red aircraft body with a palm tree on the tail, a Samoan maiden painting and the name Polynesian Blue proudly emblazoned on its fuselage. The Boeing 737 series aircraft will also carry a Samoan name which will be revealed in time for Polynesian Blue's inaugural flight.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey said, “We are immensely pleased to be involved in this progressive and exciting partnership and see it as an opportunity to extend the same low fares and tourism stimulus to Samoa as we have in the Australian, Trans Tasman, Fijian & Vanuatu markets.”
Polynesian Blue will offer direct flights from both Auckland and Sydney to Samoa, giving leisure travellers yet another South Pacific destination option as well as providing New Zealand and Australian based Samoans with an easy and direct flight back home to visit family and friends.
Brett Godfrey continued, “This is the third airline we have launched in the past five years and we are confident Polynesian Blue will be successful in luring more travellers to experience unspoilt Samoa.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to join the Government of Samoa in Polynesian Blue and we look forward to contributing to Samoa's tourism effort."
Polynesian Blue flights will be operated by Pacific Blue Airlines, ensuring the services are run efficiently and economically, in line with the low cost carrier strategy and cost base.
The Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa said, “We look forward to welcoming more Australian and New Zealand visitors to Samoa and embracing our aiga when they return home.”
He continued, “The Government of Samoa relishes the economic opportunities which tourism brings to the region, however it also is respectful of its cultural and physical environment and believes the two can live in harmony. This partnership promises access to one of the Pacific’s last secrets for an affordable price. I am pleased we asked for IFC’s advice in this venture – their assistance has been invaluable”.
Polynesian Blue flights between Auckland and Apia will initially operate Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with fares starting from NZ$249* (plus taxes and charges) now available on the internet.
Polynesian Blue will operate a Sydney to Apia service initially departing on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with an everyday low fare starting from AU $449* one way on the net (including taxes and charges).
Fares can be booked via the Internet (www.polynesianblue.com or www.virginblue.com.au or www.flypacificblue.com), through a travel agent or through the Guest Contact Centre on 0800 67 00 00 (in New Zealand) and 13 6789 in Australia.