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Virgin Blue Meets The Business Challenge

29/08/2003

Sydney – Melbourne 22 Times A Day
Greater Frequency On Sydney – Adelaide,
Melbourne – Adelaide & Melbourne – Brisbane


Virgin Blue will continue to meet the expectation of its growing ranks of corporate travellers by ramping up frequency across vital business routes following strong demand from the market.


By adding extra capacity between key commercial centres, the low fare carrier aims to even better meet the needs of the increasing number of business flyers who prefer Virgin Blue for its affordable, friendly and on-time service.


The new flights will boost services between Melbourne and Sydney to 22 a day and add a further 25% capacity between Adelaide and Sydney taking the total to five flights a day.


Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said, “22 return flights between two key cities puts us in the same league as the world leading and long established low fare carriers, Southwest and Ryanair. This is a tribute to the continuing support we‘ve had from the travelling public. We always said that we’d prefer to increase capacity instead of raising fares and today’s announcement further proves that Virgin Blue will stand by that promise.”


Brett Godfrey continued, “The only way you can offer great low fares to one part of the market is to offer them to all, whether they are flying on business or leisure and regardless of their destination. It would be ludicrous for any airline to hive off the leisure travellers so they could continue belting the business traveller for more money. This is a strategy that has failed numerous times around the world and there’s no reason to believe Australian flyers would fork out their cash to support such a scheme. Virgin Blue is focused on offering all Australian travellers an airline that is efficient, friendly, affordable and on time.”


The enhanced schedule announced today has been designed to provide extra peak hour services. Schedule improvements include the following highlights:


From Adelaide* - a mid morning flight to Sydney at 9:05 am arriving before midday to complement the popular early departure as well as an after lunch Adelaide-Melbourne** hop at 3:35 pm.

From Sydney** – a 7:45 pm flight to Melbourne for meetings that run long or to stop-off at the pub in our new Blue Room lounge.

From Brisbane** - a new Melbourne service at 8:35 am arriving in time for lunch.

From Melbourne*** - a new business departure to Brisbane at 7:00 am as well as a 5:45 pm departure to Sydney to get people home in time for dinner.

From Perth – Previously announced early morning departures to Melbourne will now start on September 15 while the early Perth Sydney starts on October 2

In addition to schedule enhancements, the low fare airline continues to invest in additional spare aircraft capacity to ensure it can further improve its leading position in on-time performance and schedule integrity.


While the number of routes and frequencies across the network has increased, Virgin Blue is still offering the same fantastic value it has since day one. As part of special 3rd birthday celebrations this weekend, the carrier is further discounting fares as a thank you to the travelling public for its enthusiastic support.


From midday today (Friday August 29), special fares for convenient direct flights in November and early December can be snapped up for as little as $49^ one-way on the net.


* Extra Adelaide-Sydney-Adelaide flight commences October 26.
** Extra Brisbane-Melbourne, Sydney-Melbourne-Sydney and Adelaide-Melbourne-Adelaide flights commence November 2
*** Extra Melbourne-Brisbane flight commences November 3

^ Conditions and travel restrictions apply. Fares are one way on the Internet or $10 more by phone. Seats are limited and subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak days. Fares on sale from 29 August to midnight (EST) 2 September 2003, for travel 1 November – 11 December 2003