Virgin Blue has announced plans to boost its services to and from Mackay from one flight a day to a double daily service, following steady support from both business and leisure travellers over the past 12 months.
From 16 March 2003, the Mackay-Brisbane route will increase to two daily direct services, with a Virgin Blue crew and aircraft to overnight in Mackay.
The airline will add a new evening arrival from Brisbane to Mackay as well as an early morning departure to Brisbane to compliment its existing afternoon service.
The enhanced schedule coincides with the first anniversary of Virgin Blue services to Mackay and is a direct result of tremendous support over the last 12 months with more than 80,000 Guests taking advantage of Virgin Blue`s affordable fares.
Loads on direct and connecting Mackay flights are averaging 80%, giving Virgin Blue the confidence to not only increase flights but also re-direct its larger Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the route during peak times prior to the launch of the second daily service.
The bigger jet will offer 25% additional capacity to and from the Whitsunday region with an extra 36 seats in each direction to better cater for high demand periods.
Virgin Blue spokesperson Amanda Bolger said, “Access to great low fares for the first time in years has been a huge boost to tourism in the Mackay region as well as benefiting local business travellers who have been able to stretch their travel budget further.”
She continued, “Over the past 12 months, we have closely monitored the response to Virgin Blue flights to the Whitsunday`s gateway and we will continue to gauge demand for forward bookings for the extra daily service. If the support continues, so too will Virgin Blue`s commitment to Mackay.”
As part of anniversary celebrations, the Captain on today`s Brisbane-Mackay flight landing at 3.55pm will randomly select a lucky seat number and the Guest occupying the designated seat will be greeted by a champagne shower and presented with a goodie bag on arrival.