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Virgin Blue Goes National


Direct Daily Flights To Perth From December 9

Virgin Blue is excited to announce plans to fly to Western Australia from both Melbourne and Adelaide, cementing the carrier as Australia's second national airline by offering low fares from coast to coast and throughout many regional centres in between.

It follows strong demand for Virgin Blue to provide its every day low fares to the people of W.A. who have been belted by high fares to the Eastern States for over a decade since the demise of Compass.

In line with Virgin Blue tradition, a special $175* one way launch fare is now available for all seats on all flights for the first five days of Perth services, for bookings made by the end of the month or until sold out.

Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey said, "We are delighted to confirm our Perth plans even sooner than expected in light of the current capacity crisis and the desperate need for the people of Perth to have access to affordable everyday air travel. The arrival of Australia's first brand new Next Generation 737-800 aircraft will allow us to offer the longer haul domestic service, complete with comfortable leather seats, in-flight entertainment and provide West Australian's with a low fare, high quality alternative for the first time."

Everyday low fares from both Melbourne and Adelaide to Perth will start from $199* one way, while Virgin Blue's Fully Flexible fare between Melbourne and Perth is $469 one way and between Adelaide and Perth $439. Virgin Blue's standard low fare is well below the other airlines special sale fares, while the Virgin Blue Fully Flexible fare is 33% lower than the competition.

Brett Godfrey continued, "We think that W.A. should have low fares every day, even for people who can't make their travel plans until the last minute. Still, we are confident the introduction of Virgin Blue flights will inspire our competitors to suddenly see reason. We are hopeful that like in other cities and regional centres, the people of Western Australia will support the only airline in the country that is committed to long-term sustainable low airfares.

Virgin Blue carried its 2-millionth passenger this week and averages 10,000 guests a day, cementing its position as Australia's number 2 carrier, both in terms of passenger numbers and destination options.

Virgin Blue operates the most modern, technologically advanced aircraft in Australia today, with an average age of less than 4 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)