Best Airline Australia Pacific
Best Airline Staff Service Australia Pacific
Monday 4 February 2008: Port Macquarie, Australia: Australian travellers are poised to witness the lowest fare ever offered in the Australian market with Virgin Blue set to launch a 1 cent sale to celebrate its brand new flights to Port Macquarie on the New South Wales, Mid North Coast. The first flight is scheduled to depart Sydney as DJ 1185 at 11.35am and arrive in Port Macquarie at 12.30pm.
The new service is part of the airline’s regional growth strategy and continues to deliver on the commitment Virgin Blue made back in 2000 when the airline first launched, to bring competition and affordability to the heart of Australia’s regional communities, not just capital cities.
To celebrate the occasion in true Virgin Blue style, the airline will offer 1,000 1 cent one-way fares for flights between Port Macquarie and Sydney, INCLUSIVE of taxes and surcharges ($41.73). The special 1000 1 cent Internet only “Fast and Furious” fares will go on sale at 8.00pm tomorrow Tuesday 5th February for four hours until midnight Tuesday 5th February or until sold out. The travel period is from 6 February 2008 to 30 June 2008.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey said, “At 8.00pm tomorrow evening, Virgin Blue will flick the switch and offer what is the cheapest fare ever to be seen in the domestic aviation market.”
The launch of Virgin Blue flights also represents an end to the days of turbo-prop only services with the historic flight marking the first time the city of Port Macquarie will have jet aircraft flights. The commencement of these flights represents a range of new opportunities for the local region.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey said, “These new services for Port Macquarie kick off Virgin Blue’s comprehensive regional growth plan for 2008 and we are excited that Port Macquarie is the first new destination on our expanding route map. You probably won’t get a better deal than a 1 cent flight and while it’s clearly a very special launch fare, it’s an indication that Virgin Blue is serious about generating interest and excitement for people travelling to and from regional destinations like Port Macquarie”.
He continued, “The introduction of Virgin Blue services to other regional cities including Coffs Harbour and Ballina, has been a major driver in increased tourism and business and we are hopeful the same benefits will be experienced by the Hastings region.”
Virgin Blue will operate brand new Brazilian manufactured executive style EMBRAER E-Jets on the route which carries up to 78 passengers in the E-170 and 104 in the slightly larger E-190. The jets have a flying time between Sydney and Port Macquarie of just 40 minutes.
The new service is aimed at both leisure and business travellers and offers additional perks and services for the discerning traveller including Virgin Blue’s Sydney “The Lounge” facility, Velocity Frequent Flyer program and shortly, the new “Premium Economy” in-flight option.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has upgraded the airport to facilitate Virgin Blue services, including the introduction of a security screening facility. The airport extensions are also underway which will allow Virgin Blue to operate jet aircraft flights on a long term basis.
Brett Godfrey added, “Competition is a great thing for consumers and we are committed to bringing long term low fares, good old fashioned service and robust competition to this market and we hope to garner strong community support to ensure longevity for Virgin Blue flights”.
On board today’s launch flight will be key Virgin Blue executives, Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor, Councillor Rob Drew, a number of Port Macquarie tourism and business representatives, special surprise celebrity guest, Globetrotting Getaway presenter, Catriona Rowntree, a group of media travel writers, as well as tourists keen to take advantage of the new services to the Mid North Coast region.
Virgin Blue will operate daily flights between Sydney and Port Macquarie and will closely monitor demand for the services.
The launch flight will feature Virgin Blue’s traditional in-flight celebrations including free champagne, special limited edition launch flight t-shirt giveaway as well as an in-flight auction and fundraising efforts with all proceeds donated to the Hastings Cancer Trust and Port Macquarie Surf Club.
Multi award winning airline Virgin Blue and international carriers Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue currently operate a fleet of 61 modern Boeing 737 and Embraer E-Jet aircraft flying to 23 Australian and eight international destinations including New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands. Virgin Blue was the first airline in the world to launch a Government-certified carbon offset program, where Guests can offset the carbon emissions from their flights. Virgin Blue Group has also announced plans to launch Australia's newest international airline, V Australia, set to commence flights between Australia and the USA from late 2008, subject to regulatory approvals
* All fares are for flights booked on the internet or $15 more when booked by phone. Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak times. A credit card surcharge of an additional $3 per person per one way flight is applicable. Credit card surcharge will not apply to 1000 1 cent Fast and Furious fare. For Virgin Blue bookings log on to www.virginblue.com.au or phone our award winning Guest Contact Centre on 13 6789 or contact a travel agent.