Virgin Blue Celebrates New Melbourne-Auckland Route with $199* Fare28/07/2008
Virgin Blue Airlines today announced it will commence flying between Melbourne and Auckland with daily return services starting from 22 September, 2008.*
The new trans-Tasman flights will be operated by Virgin Blue’s international subsidiary Pacific Blue using 180-seat, Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Seats on the new trans-Tasman service go on sale from 11.00am (AEST) today with special one-way launch fares of NZ$179* from Auckland to Melbourne and AU$199* from Melbourne to Auckland (including taxes, fees and charges).
The launch fares for travel between 22 September and 13 December, 2008 are on sale until midnight 31 July or until sold out, and are available via the airline’s web site (www.virginblue.com.au).
Virgin Blue Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said the expansion was a logical next step for the airline group following the compelling success of Pacific Blue.
“We have been considering this route for some time, as we’re always interested in markets that are under-served,” Mr Godfrey said.
“It makes sense to us and we’re confident air travellers will feel the same way. We plan to offer tremendous value on both sides of the Tasman which has got to be good for travellers and also for visitor numbers to Melbourne and Auckland at either end of the route”, he said.
Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Woodruff said the announcement was another win for Victoria.
“The important role direct international air services provide to Melbourne and Victoria can’t be understated.
“New Zealand is our largest market, more than double the UK (450,000). According to the latest passenger card data there are over 900,000 passenger movements to/from New Zealand per year, an increase of 5% from the previous year, and an average annual growth rate of 7% since 2004.
“This announcement will see even stronger growth in this market into the future", Mr Woodruff finished.
Virgin Blue’s everyday low fares between Melbourne and Auckland will start from $279 one way on the internet (inclusive of taxes, fees and surcharges), more than 30% cheaper than competitor fares^.
MELBOURNE- AUCKLAND Launch flight schedule: effective from 22 September 2008
Flights are subject to regulatory approvals. All fares are one-way for flights booked on the internet, $15 more by phone. Seats are limited and fares may not be available on all flights or during peak periods. On sale 11am 28 July, 2008 to 31 July 2008 or until sold out for travel from 22 September, 2008 to 13 December, 2008.
^ Correct as at 27 July 2008.