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Virgin Blue Ramps Up Rocky Flights Following Huge Local Demand

24/03/2004

Low Fare Leader Addresses The Needs Of Abandoned Business Market

Virgin Blue has today announced it will increase services between Rockhampton and Brisbane by offering a second daily direct flight from 3 May following resounding requests from the Rockhampton business community.


The low fare airline launched its 737 jet flights to Rockhampton in December 2002 and since then Virgin Blue has been heartened by the support of travellers in both directions. It is this confidence that has inspired the carrier to put more capacity into the Capricorn Coast at a time when other airlines are turning their back on this important regional market.


Local flyers have been lobbying Virgin Blue to introduce a second daily flight following the news that the existing early morning departure offered by Qantas will be scrapped in favour of a later departure time when its no frills offshoot, Jetstar, takes over the route in coming weeks.


In response, Virgin Blue has committed to providing a 6.30am departure out of Rockhampton, which will arrive in Brisbane at 7.30am. The evening flight will take off from Brisbane at 7.30pm allowing for a full business day in Brisbane and a convenient return flight back home.


The new service will also allow for hassle-free connections to Sydney and Melbourne, therefore enabling the business community of Rockhampton to make day return trips and avoid expensive overnight accommodation. In addition, the second frequency also means that convenient connections are available from Hobart and Newcastle for the first time, complimenting existing connections to Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide.


Virgin Blue’s Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, “The people of Rocky asked, we listened and have re-jigged our schedule to accommodate the second daily flight to meet their specific needs.”


He continued, “The people of this region have been emphatic in their support for Virgin Blue as they remember what the fares were like before we came into the market. Now that we have responded to the requests for an additional flight, we hope travellers will continue to back the airline that believes in supporting both the leisure and business needs of a regional destination”.


“We don’t believe that low fares mean compromising on quality, whether that is at the airport, on board or for guests who want convenient connections between Rockhampton and southern capitals. Now that we have responded to the business community’s needs, all we ask is that the same community supports us so we can maintain and potentially grow services even further in the future”.


Everyday low fares on the Rockhampton-Brisbane route start from $59* one way on the net.


The extra service will mean Virgin Blue will overnight an aircraft and crew in Rockhampton for the first time providing further stimulus to the local economy, with local engineering staff and over-nighting crews enjoying the hospitality of the region.


The revised schedule includes (* denotes new service):


* All fares are for flights booked on the net, $10 more by phone, subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak days.