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Pacific Blue Expands To Cook Islands
Virgin Blue’s international airline Pacific Blue^ will again expand its network from tomorrow with the launch of its first flight from Sydney to the Cook Islands (via Christchurch, New Zealand).
The new destination adds Rarotonga, Cook Islands to the carrier’s growing Pacific Island network which now includes trans-Tasman services, Vanuatu and Fiji.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said the launch of flights to the Cook Islands was a further step in spreading the carrier’s service through the Pacific.
“In our 12 months of operation we’ve shown the public and the travel industry we can offer great domestic and international airline service at a price much lower than traditional carriers. The low cost, great value, great service model we apply successfully in Australia will work well in the Pacific as we have shown across the Tasman and we are delighted to have the opportunity to offer it to travellers to and from the Cook Islands.
“The Cook Islands is a magnificent destination and we look forward to helping the Cooks benefit from the increased competition that a new carrier brings after being an aviation monopoly for far too long.”
“We have appreciated the co-operation over many months of a number of parties including Cook Island Tourism as well as Government and airport officials and we look forward to contributing to their efforts to develop tourism by bringing more people to the destination on Pacific Blue.”
Cook Islands Tourism CEO, Chris Wong said “ The commencement of Pacific Blue services to Rarotonga marks another milestone in the development of tourism in the Cook Islands.”
He added, “Pacific Blue’s new service provides an added bonus for the Cook Islands as it also opens up an additional avenue for Australians to visit the destination with the flight originating in Sydney. We are thrilled with this new service and look forward to working closely with Pacific Blue in developing travel to the Cook Islands to our mutual benefit.”
The inaugural flight will depart Sydney at 11.15am tomorrow and will stop-over in Christchurch to official Cook Island farewell celebrations including a Rarotonga dance troop, floral leis, palm trees and tropical fruit punch.
The new Pacific Blue service will provide much needed competition on the route and is expected to stimulate traffic with affordable fares and increased flight time options rather than just being restricted to the service and schedule offered by one airline.
Everyday low fares between Sydney and Rarotonga on Pacific Blue start from $289* one-way on the net (plus taxes, fees and surcharges from $110), with a Blue Plus fare of $589* one-way on the net (plus taxes, fees and surcharges from $110).
Pacific Blue hopes support for the initial weekly flight will be strong enough to warrant additional services in the future.
Fare Information For The Australian Market
As per industry practice all fares are shown in AU$ and exclude all taxes fees and surcharges.
SYDNEY TO RAROTONGA
Fair fare (lead in price):
AU$289* (plus taxes, fees and surcharges from $110)
Blue Plus fare:
AU$589* (plus taxes, fees and surcharges from $110)
* Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak days. Fares are quoted ex-Australia one-way on the net or $10 more by phone. Taxes and charges are correct as at 19 March 2005, and are subject to change.
^ International flights to New Zealand operated by Pacific Blue Airlines (N.Z.) Ltd. International flights to Fiji, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands offered by Pacific Blue Airlines (Aust) Pty. Ltd. and operated by Pacific Blue Airlines (N.Z.) Ltd.
Pacific Blue is Virgin Blue’s New Zealand based low fare carrier, operating three brand new 737-800’s. For Pacific Blue bookings log on to www.flypacificblue.com, phone 0800 67 00 00 or contact your travel agent.