Virgin Blue’s inaugural flight to the Northern Territory touched down at Darwin International Airport this afternoon, with inaugural Guests among the first in the country to experience the latest in aviation technology.
The brand new 737-800 aircraft was introduced in to service this week, featuring revolutionary 2.5 metre high blended “winglets” extending from the aircraft wing tips, increasing the Next Generation 737’s lead as the newest and most technologically advanced aircraft in Australian skies.
The winglets offer a number of benefits ranging from increased fuel efficiency and improved take-off capability to reduced noise levels and high altitude cruise abilities.
Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, “For our Guests it translates into a smoother, quieter and even more comfortable ride in our innovative, state of the art aircraft. The new blended wings are also more environmentally friendly as they reduce both noise and fuel burn…they also look pretty cool to boot”.
The aircraft will be operated primarily on Virgin Blue long haul routes, depending upon high demand and seasonal requirements, therefore there are fewer rows of seats meaning superior leg room.
Today’s launch flight to Darwin completes Virgin Blue’s strategy of being a national airline with the low fare carrier now servicing every state and territory in Australia. Darwin is seen as a vital destination in Virgin Blue’s expanding network.
Head of Commercial, David Huttner said, “The people of the Northern Territory have long been disadvantaged in regard to access to reasonable air fares simply due to the isolation and distance. We are confident the introduction of Virgin Blue will mean a sudden reduction in the cost of flying to and from the Territory and we are confident Territorians will embrace Virgin Blue as their preferred carrier, ensuring low fares in the Northern Territory are here to stay.”
The new Darwin service is expected to boost local tourism with visitors more inclined to holiday in a region they can afford to fly to, while local businesses will also be able to take advantage of Virgin Blue’s everyday low fares, including for last minute flights.
Virgin Blue’s Summer Special fares start from $199*^ one-way. Virgin Blue’s Fully Flexible fares are $499* one-way, compared to the Qantas Fully Flexible fare of $788.
David Huttner continued, “We are delighted to be bringing not only low fares but also the unique Virgin Blue service to Darwin and are excited to show off our great new aircraft, our warm friendly crew and low fare-high quality benefits of Australia’s only true low fare carrier.”