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What a Pearler!!! Virgin Blue Announces Major WA Expansion

26/08/2008

TWO BRAND NEW INTRA-WA ROUTES TO NEWMAN AND KARRATHA AND ADDITIONAL FLIGHTS TO BROOME


Virgin Blue Airlines announced today it would expand its presence in Western Australia with the launch of two new ports and the doubling of flights to and from Broome.

 

From 21 October 2008, Virgin Blue will launch direct daily flights from Perth to two brand new Virgin Blue ports, Karratha and Newman with its new executive style EMBRAER jet aircraft, bringing in new competition and Virgin Blue’s award winning service style to the mining market.

 

From 15 October 2008, Virgin Blue will also double flights between Perth and Broome providing a more convenient schedule, additional capacity and more competitive fares to one of Australia’s most unique “must see” tourist destinations.

 

Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said, “This is a significant investment for the Virgin Blue Group in WA which demonstrates our confidence in the potential of the WA market. Karratha and Newman are both key mining destinations where we believe we can bring some great advantages in terms of schedule reliability and competitive fares. We will be working closely with the mining sector and those companies that provide support services to the mining industry in these regions and are eager to demonstrate our commitment to providing a viable travel option tailored to their needs.”

 

He continued, “At the same time, our soon-to-be launched services will also mean a new choice of airline for those wanting to travel between Perth and Karratha or Newman to visit family and friends or for a weekend in the city or the country. It’s not just about servicing the fly-in, fly-out mining industry needs, it’s about bringing tangible benefits to the general community through making travel a more affordable option.”

 

The expansion is Virgin Blue’s second and largest foray into intra-WA services following the successful introduction of Broome-Perth flights in September 2004.

 

From Wednesday 15 October 2008, Virgin Blue will increase its Perth-Broome flights with an a new early morning flight which will complement the existing evening service, giving travellers more choice and flexibility. Virgin Blue already operates a direct weekly flight between Adelaide and Broome.

 

The new services will also be operated by Virgin Blue's executive style EMBRAER E-190 jet aircraft and will add a further 1456 seats per week to the market. The E-190 is the larger of the two EMBRAER Jets with 104 seats, compared to the E-170 with 78 seats.

 

Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said, "Broome’s popularity and unique cultural and environmental attractions make it a long term viable option for growth. The second daily flight is a big commitment for Virgin Blue but given the desirability of Broome as a destination, we are hopeful there will be ongoing demand for a twice daily flight and time will tell.

 


Virgin Blue will continue to work with local operators and tourism organisations on joint marketing campaigns and recently co-hosted travel media to the region with the newly refurbished Mercure Hotel as part of Virgin Blue's ongoing travel familiarisation program to lure more visitors to the destination. Journalists experienced some of Broome's finest delights from whale watching to historic pearl lugging to locally brewed ginger beer, mango products and the Cable Beach sunset.

 

As a result of Virgin Blue’s WA flight expansions, Perth Airport is poised to become an even bigger part of the airline’s network.

 

Brett Godfrey added, “Perth is a key focus for Virgin Blue’s future plans. We have a solid foundation to build on through Virgin Blue’s comprehensive schedule from Perth to the East Coast, serviced by the 737-800 aircraft. The new E-JET is ideally suited to smaller regional routes like Karratha and Newman and both aircraft will hub in Perth to provide convenient connections between the west and east coasts and WA regional destinations.”

 

Virgin Blue is Australia’s second largest airline and continues to introduce a range of business friendly travel initiatives to suit its growing corporate traveller base. The airline is considering further travel enhancements for WA, including the possible launch of “The Lounge” facility at Perth Airport and other intra-WA ports.

 

Meanwhile, Virgin Blue will offer special launch fares to celebrate the announcement of the new WA regional routes.

 

KARRATHA

Brand new double daily direct flights between Perth and Karratha from 21 October 2008

Sale fare of $189* one way on the internet. Available now until midnight Monday 1 September or until sold out for travel between 21 October 2008 and 8 December 2008

Everyday low fares start from $219* one way on the internet, 24% less than the current equivalent competitor fare of $290 one-way on the internet


PERTH-KARRATHA SCHEDULE: EFFECTIVE 21 OCTOBER 2008 (^denotes different weekend flight timings – refer to website)

FLIGHT NO

DEP

ARR

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

SUN

DJ 17215.45am7.45amQQQQQQ ^ 
DJ 17273.00pm5.00pmQQQQQ Q ^


KARRATHA-PERTH SCHEDULE: EFFECTIVE 21 OCTOBER 2008

FLIGHT NO

DEP

ARR

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

SUN

DJ 17228.15am10.10amQQQQQQ ^ 
DJ 17285.35pm7.30pmQQQQQ Q ^


 

 

NEWMAN

Brand new double daily direct flights between Perth and Newman from 21 October 2008

Sale fare of $149* one way on the internet. Available now until midnight Monday 1 September or until sold out for travel between 24 October 2008 and 8 December 2008

Everyday low fares start from $199* one way on the internet, 25% less than the current equivalent competitor fare of $267ne-way on the internet


PERTH-NEWMAN SCHEDULE: EFFECTIVE 21 OCTOBER 2008

FLIGHT NO

DEP

ARR

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

SUN

DJ 18735.30am7.10amQQQQQ  
DJ 187712.10pm1.50pm     Q 

DJ 1877

11.00am12.40pm      Q


NEWMAN - PERTH SCHEDULE: EFFECTIVE 21 OCTOBER 2008

FLIGHT NO

DEP

ARR

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

SUN

DJ 18747.40am9.20amQQQQQ  
DJ 18782.20pm4.00pm     Q 

DJ 1878

1.10pm2.50pm      Q


 

 

BROOME

Second daily service between Perth-Broome from 15 October 2008

Sale fare of $189* one way on the Internet. Available now until midnight Monday 1 September or until sold out for travel between 5 October 2008 and 8 December 2008

Everyday low fares start from $229* one way on the internet, 24% less than the current equivalent competitor fare 0f $290 one-way on the internet


PERTH-BROOME: EFFECTIVE 15 OCTOBER 2008 - +Denotes new service

FLIGHT NO

DEP

ARR

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

SUN

DJ 485 +7.00am9.30 am     Q 
DJ 487 +9.00am11.30 amQQQQQ Q
DJ 4893.45pm6.15pmQQQQQQQ


BROOME-PERTH: EFFECTIVE 15 OCTOBER 2008

FLIGHT NO

DEP

ARR

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

SUN

DJ 486 +10.00am12.30am     Q 
DJ 486 +12.00am2.30 pmQQQQQ Q
DJ 4886.45pm9.15pmQQQQQQQ


Multi award winning airline Virgin Blue and international carriers Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue currently operate a fleet of  68 modern Boeing 737 and Embraer E-Jet aircraft flying to 25 Australian and eight international destinations including New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands.  Virgin Blue Group has also announced plans to launch Australia's newest international airline, V Australia, set to commence flights between Australia and the USA from late 2008, subject to regulatory approvals


Flights to Newman and Karratha are subject to regulatory approval


* All fares are for flights booked on the internet or $15 more when booked by phone. Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak times. A credit card surcharge of an additional $3 per person per one way flight is applicable. For Virgin Blue bookings log on to www.virginblue.com.au or phone our award winning Guest Contact Centre on 13 6789 or contact a travel agent.