Poly Blue profits 28 August 0828/08/2008
AIRLINE ANNOUNCES INCREASED APIA FLIGHTS AND SHAREHOLDER PAYMENTS
Thursday, 28 August 2008: Polynesian Blue Airlines, the joint venture airline between Virgin Blue Airlines and the Government of Samoa, has announced a record pre-tax profit of NZD $9.18 million dollars (approximately 16.6 million Tala©) for the 07/08 financial year, up 71% from last year’s pre-tax profit of NZD $5.363 million.
As a result, the Polynesian Blue Board has also unanimously agreed to pay off one third of the priority loan advanced by Shareholders as part of the launch capital for Polynesian Blue (NZD $1.969 million), as well as the accrued interest on the loan (NZD $1.32 million). The amount to be paid to the Government of Samoa is NZD $1.623 million ($2.94 million Tala©).
The Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa said, “Our decision to join with Virgin Blue Airlines in creating a national airline that would be financially viable and provide our country with growth and financial stability has again been vindicated by the ongoing profitability of Polynesian Blue. Samoa has benefited greatly from the success of Polynesian Blue and the people of Samoa can be further heartened with the payment from Polynesian Blue to our Government, which will be re-invested to directly benefit our people.”
The Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi continued, “I congratulate the Board and Management for the excellent results and profound impact the airline has had on our people, tourism industry and the economy in the short time the airline has been in existence.”
Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said, “It is a tremendous achievement for any airline to be making money in the current aviation climate and Polynesian Blue is well and truly performing like a seasoned player in the global arena, generating a good profit when airlines around the world are collapsing under the weight of industry challenges. The ongoing success of Polynesian Blue is testimony to the shared vision and strategy behind the airline, as well as the fantastic frontline team responsible for day to day operations.”
He continued, “The partnership between Virgin Blue and the Government of Samoa has exceeded expectations and Polynesian Blue is proving to be a profitable and solid national carrier for Samoa. Without doubt, Polynesian Blue services have contributed to the country’s tourism growth and burgeoning popularity as a desirable destination and of that association, we are very proud.”
Since the launch of Polynesian Blue, holiday arrivals to Samoa from both Australia and New Zealand have increased dramatically.
Market Growth Statistics for Samoa since launch of Polynesian Blue in October 2005
Ex NZ to Samoa ^ +67.5% (holiday arrivals)
Ex Aust to Samoa ^ +34.9% (holiday arrivals)
Ex AUS + NZ ^ +53.8 (holiday arrivals)
Source: DIMIA Australia and New Zealand Statistics
Polynesian Blue has also announced it will be increasing services to and from Samoa as part of its ongoing growth strategy.
From Monday 1 December 2008, Polynesian Blue will launch a brand new direct weekly flight between Brisbane, Australia and Apia. Polynesian Blue will become the first and currently only airline to operate on that route offering Queenslanders a direct, convenient option to fly from the Sunshine State to Samoa. Brisbane is fast becoming the Australian hub for services to the Pacific Islands, with more travellers opting for short breaks in our neighbouring countries.
Polynesian Blue has been tracking the number of Guests using connecting flights to travel from Queensland to Sydney and then on to Apia and the increasing demand indicates justification for a direct service. Fares start from AUD $449* one way on the internet or AUD $464* by phone or through a travel agent. A special sale fare of WST $499* one way + taxes for direct flights from Apia to Brisbane has been launched, 28% lower than the everyday lead-in fare. The sale is on from now until 10 September 2008 or until sold out and flights are for travel between 1 and 29 December 2008.
On top of the new Brisbane service, from 25 September 2008, Polynesian Blue will also add an additional weekly flight between Apia and Auckland, New Zealand taking the total number of services to 12 direct flights per week. It is the second time Polynesian Blue has increased frequency on this route following ongoing support and demand.
Based on the July 07 – June 2008 average closing rate (source Reuters)
^ Compared to Samoan tourism arrivals for year ending October 2005
Polynesian Blue is a joint venture between Virgin Blue and the Government of Samoa. For Polynesian Blue bookings, contact your travel agent or log onto www.polynesianblue.com. Flights are offered by Polynesian Blue Limited using Pacific Blue Airlines (NZ) Limited aircraft.
BRISBANE-APIA: EFFECTIVE 1 DECEMBER 2008
APIA-BRISBANE: EFFECTIVE 1 DECEMBER 2008
4.45am (+ 1 day)
* 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. 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.