Melbourne travellers will have yet another low fare option with Virgin Blue today launching direct flights between Melbourne and Hobart.
Virgin Blue’s inaugural flight DJ 182 will take off from Melbourne Airport at 11.40am today, cementing Melbourne’s position as the airline’s busiest operational port.
Virgin Group Chairman, Richard Branson has flown in especially to take part in launch celebrations and special in-flight activities will include free champagne, fundraising auctions to raise money for the Guide Dog Association and in traditional Virgin Blue launch flight form, a few surprises.
Flights between Melbourne and Hobart start from $99* one-way on the net with a Fully Flexible fare of $209* one-way on the net, 1/3 off the Qantas’s Full Y/walk-up fare of $323 one-way.
Richard Branson said, “The people of Melbourne got behind Virgin Blue right from day one and their support has been unwavering. We are delighted to be offering yet another low fare option from what is clearly one of Australia’s most popular business and tourism destination.”
Adding the direct Melbourne-Hobart to Virgin Blue’s growing route network is a significant move for the low fare carrier, with every capital city in the country now covered.
The flights will operate from the new South Terminal facility along with all other Virgin Blue services.
“It’s a first class facility and having seen our new Melbourne home for the first time, I am thrilled we have such a modern and comfortable terminal for our Guests to enjoy without compromising our efficient cost base”, he said.
Richard continued, “Our experience with Virgin Blue in Australia has proven that if you lower fares, you stimulate the market and we have every intention of continuing our steady growth and now that we have room to grow in Melbourne, we will certainly be adding on more flights as we take delivery of more aircraft.
With Virgin Blue moving in to the new terminal in Brisbane in the next few weeks, it’s great to have two out of three leading Australian airports coming to the party.”
While it’s early days, forward bookings for the Melbourne-Hobart service are looking strong and Virgin Blue will consider adding extra flights subject to demand.
* All fares include the passenger ticket levy, airport charges and the global security charge and are for flights booked on the Internet. $10 more by phone.