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Virgin Blue Stakes Claim To More Territory
Virgin Blue today announced it will launch direct flights between Sydney and Darwin from Saturday June 14, offering a low fare alternative providing a positive stimulus for domestic travel and tourism.
The airline has closely monitored ongoing support for its flights since adding Darwin to its route network and the decision to introduce direct Sydney flights follows strong demand on Virgin Blue’s established connecting service via Brisbane.
The new Darwin-Sydney flights will follow hot on the heels of the June 6 launch of the Alice Springs-Sydney service, taking the number of Northern Territory routes from one to three.
Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, “Focussing on domestic tourism is clearly the best way to help hotels and operators who are struggling due to events overseas.”
He continued, “In this critical time, we need to do everything we possibly can to make travel more affordable for everyday Australians. With this in mind, we strongly encourage the Government to suspend the Ansett levy and to reign in some of the airports as well as Air Services. These organisations can’t continue to be ambivalent to the issues facing Australian tourism.”
The Darwin-Sydney route was identified as one of the key remaining routes suffering through lack of competition resulting in unjustly high airfares. The low fare carrier has proven that if you keep the fares low, more people will travel.
Staying true to its low fare promise, Virgin Blue will offer a celebration fare of $149* one-way on the net, on sale now until May 18, for travel between June 14 and July 2.
Everyday low fares will start from $229* one-way on the net, with a Fully Flexible fare for $550* one-way 33% less than the competition’s Fully Flexible fare of $831 one way on the net.
Brett Godfrey said, “There was a clear need for affordable, convenient and direct access between Darwin and Sydney and we are happy to be catering to this demand as we strive to cover more territory.”
Virgin Blue is confident the introduction of its 5 weekly flights will not only provide a great shot in the arm for local tourism but will also be a great benefit to Darwin based travellers.
“People in the Northern Territory have always suffered from the tyranny of distance and outrageously high airfares. The introduction of our new Darwin-Sydney route is a clear indication of our commitment to opening up more domestic routes, nurturing tourism and providing locals, their family, friends and business colleagues with an affordable, high quality travel option, be it for business or pleasure,” Brett Godfrey finished.
Convenient connections will also be available to and from Darwin to Adelaide, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth.
* All fares include the passenger ticket levy, airport charges and the global security charge and are for flights booked on the Internet. $10 more by phone.