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Virgin Blue Gets Down To Business


Direct Flights On Nation's Busiest Route

Virgin Blue today launched services on Australia's number one business route, with direct flights between Sydney and Melbourne, providing business travellers with a more comprehensive choice of destinations and extending its low fare promise to the market that is the most critical to the corporate community.

The Sydney-Melbourne start-up was brought forward after numerous requests from corporate customers who noted that, since Impulse's demise, affordable seats were next to impossible to come by at times when they wanted to travel.

The launch of this service signals Virgin Blue's intention to build loyalty amongst the business market by providing a consistently reliable, friendly and cost-effective travel option, which makes business easier and improves their bottom line.

Virgin Blue's management team stepped off today's inaugural flight wearing business suits with ties chopped in half and missing half of their pant legs and suit sleeves, highlighting the message that business commuters can now "cut their travel costs in half".

Spokesperson, Amanda Bolger, said," We don't believe fancy lounges, laundry pick-up and reheated meals really address the true needs of the people that fly every week. Instead we've found they are more impressed by on-time departure and staff that can actually smile at 6.00am."

Australia's only low fare carrier will offer great everyday low fares to travellers on this key business route, with prices starting from $66 one-way. Virgin Blue's one-way "Fully Flexible" Y (walk-up) fare is $184, almost half of Qantas's Y (walk-up) fare of $330.

Virgin Blue's "Fully Flexible" fare represents value and convenience, enabling people to book and make changes even 30 minutes before their flight.

Since announcing Sydney-Melbourne and even before the release of its new business advertising campaign, numerous corporations have approached Virgin Blue, eager to abandon their travel contracts in favour of low fares.

"Like Virgin Blue, most businesses operate in a fiercely competitive environment. These businesses understand that the key to success is to provide a product that exceeds your customers' service expectations, while keeping their costs in check," finished Amanda Bolger.

Virgin Blue will be operating five daily return flights and plans to increase services later in the year in line with demand.

Virgin Blue operates the most modern, technologically advanced aircraft in Australia today, with an average age of less than 5 years, compared with Ansett's average fleet age of 11.7 years and Qantas with an average fleet age of 10.8 years. (Salomon Smith Barney 2001 Fleet handbook)