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Virgin Blue Boosts Tourism And Business Services

26/05/2002

New Sydney-Cairns Direct Daily To Open Australian Tourism

Exchange-Special Launch Fare of $168 Plus Charges For July and August*

More Peak Hour Business Services On Melbourne-Sydney & Brisbane-Sydney

Improved Sydney-Adelaied Business Day Return

Virgin Blue continues its accelerated expansion by announcing a number of new services including direct flights between Sydney and Cairns starting in time for the July holidays while ramping up frequency across popular business routes.


SYDNEY- CAIRNS DAILY DIRECT


Virgin Blue today announced new direct services between Sydney and Cairns starting July 1.


To celebrate this new service, from today until 4 June* Virgin Blue will be making a special launch offer of $168 one-way (up to $189.46 including all taxes, levies and charges)** for a limited number of seats on every flight during July and August.


The announcement of the new service coincides with the opening of the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) in the airline’s home state of Queensland and the release of Virgin Blue’s special fares and distribution policies aimed at international inbound tourism operators.


After Virgin Blue’s successful move into the Cairns domestic terminal facilities, the airline has stood by its commitment to continue to add services to one of Australia’s key tourism destinations.


Virgin Blue has recently experienced strong growth of both business and holiday traffic on its direct Melbourne - Cairns and Brisbane - Cairns services.


The Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Blue, Brett Godfrey commented, With Australian Airlines set to bring so many more international holiday makers to Cairns, we figured a lot of these people would also want a friendly and affordable option as they travel onwards through Australia from the Tropical North. With our new inbound travel policy on offer, we want to ensure that every niche in the travel market, including international inbound traffic, is not beholden to a domestic monopoly.


Brett Godfrey added As long as Australian Airlines sticks to its promise to bring more domestic visitors to Australia, and is not used to downgrade Qantas’ domestic service, we see it as a great boost for the tourism industry and an opportunity for Virgin Blue’s low-fare, high quality service to be offered to more visitors travelling via the Cairns gateway.


The new convenient non-stop service between Sydney and Cairns will further boost leisure market options for Sydney-siders wanting to head north for a break, while providing an efficient and cost effective link to the south for those living in the tropics.


Despite the improved convenience of this direct service, Virgin Blue will maintain its low one way fares from $198 ($219.46 including all taxes levies and surcharges)** after the launch offer expires.


Direct flights will begin on 1 July 2002 and passengers already booked on connecting Sydney - Cairns flights will have the option of free transfers to the direct flights between now and June 16 for travel on the same day.


MORE SYDNEY-MELBOURNE, SYDNEY-BRISBANE, SYDNEY-ADELAIDE BUSINESS FLIGHTS


Meanwhile Virgin Blue will also ramp up capacity on the key business routes with an increase of peak hour services between key state capitals and Sydney.


Brett Godfrey stated, With corporate traffic now making up a strong majority of our passengers, it became critical for us to ensure that we had an adequate amount of service during the peak hours that business people want to travel. As long as the flights keep filling due to our affordable fares and award-winning service, we will continue to add even greater frequency in the future.


Additional Services from July 1


SYDNEY - MELBOURNE - An increase from 11 to 13 departures daily in both directions including a new 7:45 a.m. Melbourne departure and a peak 5:30 p.m. evening return from Sydney.


SYDNEY - BRISBANE - An increase from 10 to 11 departures daily in both directions including a new early evening Sydney-Brisbane departure.


SYDNEY - ADELAIDE - An increase from 3 to 4 departures daily in both directions with a brand new 7:05 a.m. Sydney morning departure arriving 8:45 a.m. in Adelaide with more late afternoon returns allowing Sydney business travellers to get an early start on their day in Adelaide while South Australians get more options for an exciting break in Sydney.


*This offer will continue until 4 June or until sold out


**Subject to availability. For further information please contact our friendly Reservations Team on 13 6789. All fares exclude passenger ticket levy, airport charges and the global security charge. Fares are subject to availability and are $10 more by phone. In the coming weeks, Virgin Blue is making the transition to all-inclusive pricing. We're preparing our systems to offer advertised fares that will include all taxes, levies and charges and we will be transitioning to this system in the coming weeks.