Virgin Blue has today announced it will begin services between the Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine) and Melbourne from the 8th of May, following huge demand for a direct flight between the two locations.
The weekly direct flight will operate on Saturdays, the highest peak demand day for travellers who are heading off for a week’s holiday or to visit family and friends.
Virgin Blue will be the only airline to offer the non-stop flight and will introduce the service after it identified a large number of people booking connecting flights between Melbourne and the Whitsunday Coast.
Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, “We’ve been tracking the trends for a few months and it’s clear to us that Saturday’s are the day when Guests want to travel to these hugely popular destinations.”
He added, “We wanted to make it more convenient as well as affordable and if the ongoing demand is there, we will look at increasing the number of flights.”
To celebrate Virgin Blue’s newest route, the airline is offering one of its “wow” special fares of $149* one-way on the net, available now until March 28 2004 for travel between 8 May and 19 June 2004.
Virgin Blue’s Mid-Week Mini-Fares for travel via Brisbane start from $179* one-way on the net, with a Fully Flexible Virgin Blue fare of $399* one-way, 42% cheaper than the Qantas equivalent. Regular lead-in fares start from $199* on the web.
He continued, “It’s amazing to think that this time last year we weren’t even operating into the Whitsunday Coast, and now here we are adding our 9th weekly service and our third non-stop destination.”
Daily connecting flights via Brisbane will provide travellers with the option of returning whatever day they choose if the direct Saturday flight doesn’t suit their schedule.
“We hope our convenient connections will provide flyers with a seamless and hassle free travel experience as we don’t think it’s quite fair that when Jetstar replaces Qantas’ services into the Whitsunday Coast, travellers will have to collect and re-check in their baggage in Brisbane.”
Virgin Blue’s new flight means yet another North Queensland holiday option for Melbourne based people and a great excuse to set sail in the stunning Whitsunday’s region or escape the upcoming winter chill by planning a tropical island holiday.
For Whitsunday locals, it means the opportunity to pop to Melbourne for some shopping, skiing or theatre while still having both time and money to spare when they arrive there.
It is also expected to be a boost to Whitsunday tourism which has been enjoying additional demand following the launch of Virgin Blue flights less than a year ago.
* All fares are for flights booked on the Internet. $10 more by phone. The $149 launch fare offer is on sale from today until 28 March 2004 and is for travel from 8 May to 19 June 2004 and is only available for travel on the new direct service. Mid-Week Mini-Fares are for travel on Tuesday and Wednesdays. Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak days.