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Virgin Blue Signals Early Adelaide Arrival
Virgin Blue Airlines will begin flying between Brisbane and Adelaide as of December 15th, six weeks ahead of its planned February target and just in time for those wanting to travel during the Christmas holiday period.
The announcement was made by Chairman, Richard Branson, during a visit to Adelaide today, where he met with government, tourism and airport officials as well as travel trade representatives.
Fast-tracking the service follows the huge demand for a low fare carrier to service the people of Adelaide, as well as the obvious need for increased direct links between these two key leisure and business markets.
Virgin Blue is offering its lowest fare at $149 one way without any requirement to buy 21 days in advance or stay over a weekend.
Additionally, Virgin Blue's unrestricted (walkup) fares are over 50% lower than those offered by existing carriers on the same route.
The airline will operate two direct daily return services at peak morning and evening times doubling capacity on the route and allowing, as Richard Branson put it, " both leisure and business travellers to make unrestricted trips on Virgin's red aircraft without going into the red."
Richard continued enthusiastically, "I encourage South Australians and all Australians for that matter, to fly Virgin Blue and then tell me our staff aren't the most wonderfully warm, professional and capable bunch of people they have ever encountered in the air and on the ground."
Virgin Blue Chief Executive Officer, Brett Godfrey, added, "it's glaringly obvious that the needs of Adelaide people have been neglected by the major airlines by forcing them to constantly change planes at their congested hubs. We believe there is a huge demand for direct flights, lower fares and Virgin Blue's fresh, innovative and genuine approach to customer service".
Brett Godfrey continued "With overseas travel being so expensive, Queenslanders can sample spectacular scenery and wine domestically, where a dollar is still worth a dollar. Additionally, price conscious South Australian leisure travellers will get affordable service to The Gold and Sunshine Coasts, as well as Brisbane, in a more timely manner than if they had been forced to change planes in Sydney or Melbourne."
Virgin Blue will operate out of the International Terminal and Adelaide airport has thrown its support behind the airline, expediting a terminal upgrade to cater for Virgin Blue passengers.
The low fare carrier has further development plans for Adelaide and sees tremendous growth potential on other key routes from the South Australian capital.
The airline will take delivery of two more Boeing 737-400's next month, allowing Virgin Blue to operate the Adelaide-Brisbane route as well as increase frequencies on existing routes.
Virgin Blue's fleet has an average age of less than six years, younger than either of the major airlines, and Virgin Blue will soon operate the youngest fleet in the world when it takes delivery from Boeing of 10 brand new Next Generation 737's from April next year.