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Virgin Blue Declared Australia’s Most Popular Travel Website Low Cost Carrier Scoops The Pool At The Hitwise Website Awards

27/02/2006

Brisbane 27 February 2006: Virgin Blue is flying high after picking up two awards at the annual Hitwise online performance awards which recognise the most popular Australian websites for 2005. www.virginblue.com.au was the number one website ranked by visits in 2005, in two categories (Aviation, Commercial Airline and Travel – Transport).


Virgin Blue has made no secret of its commitment to Internet Technology and is firmly focused on providing Virgin Blue travellers with a state of the art website that is quick to navigate with an array of efficient features.


Virgin Blue General Manager IT, Nick Brant, accepted the awards on behalf of the Virgin Blue team and said, “This is a terrific accolade for Virgin Blue and our website and we are honoured to be Australia’s most popular commercial airline and travel transport website.”


He continued, “Over 90% of our bookings are made on-line and that figure continues to rise. We recognise the increasing number of travellers that are internet savvy and work hard to meet their evolving needs.”


Virgin Blue recently updated the look and feel of the Virgin Blue website to coincide with the airline’s new overall look. It has also added more features and innovations to the website including on-line check-in capabilities (check yourself in, choose your own seat and print your own boarding pass) and Velocity Rewards Program, along with existing innovations such as the on-line Happy Hour sale each day.


According to Joe Di Santo, Hitwise Asia Pacific General Manager "Winning the two Hitwise Online Performance Awards is a true indication that Virgin Blue's hard work and determination has paid off.  Virgin Blue's cost effective online booking model enables them to pass on significant savings which is great news for the end consumer.  This award clearly demonstrates that Australian Internet users are comparison shopping for the best prices online.”


Virgin Blue’s Manager E-commerce, Steven Greenway said, “While our overall low fares and the fact that booking on the Internet saves $15 per flight are key factors in driving people to the website, we also attribute its popularity to being a user-friendly and dynamic website whether people are browsing or buying.”


“We will continue to enhance Virgin Blue’s web-site capabilities with new initiatives to ensure it retains its position as the number one website in Australia for commercial airlines and travel,” he finished.


The Virgin Blue website also offers additional travel related products and services ranging from car hire with the airline’s partner Europcar as well as travel insurance and hotels.


Award winning airline Virgin Blue and sister carriers Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue currently operate a fleet of 51 modern Boeing 737 aircraft flying to 22 destinations across metropolitan and regional Australia, as well as eight International destinations taking in New Zealand, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Rarotonga. For Virgin Blue bookings log on to www.virginblue.com.au, call 13 6789 or contact a travel agent.


Hitwise is the leading online competitive intelligence service. Each day, Hitwise monitors how more than 25 million Internet users interact with over 500,000 websites across 160 industry categories. For further information on the Hitwise Awards log on to www.internetawards.com.au or www.hitwise.com.au