Less than six months after launching its first weekly Sydney-Whitsunday Coast flight, Virgin Blue today announced it will begin daily services between Brisbane and Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine).
The new flights are scheduled to begin from September 5 and follows the success of the weekly Sydney service, which has been delivering enthusiastic visitors directly to one of the world’s most beautiful and well-known tourist havens.
The low fare carrier is responding to demand from South East Queensland travellers who want a convenient and efficient route into the heart of the Whitsundays, with timely access to nearby tropical islands.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, “With the focus on domestic tourism, there’s no question the Whitsundays are the winners. The new direct flight from Brisbane will bring more people into the region, be it Airlie Beach or offshore, to enjoy the idyllic offerings such as sipping sunset cocktails by the beach or traversing the Whitsunday waterways on a yacht.”
As a launch special, Virgin Blue will be offering a one-way fare of $89* on the net for flights booked now for travel from 5 September until 31 October 2003. Everyday low fares will begin from $130 one-way on the net with the mid-week mini fare of $110-one way on the net. Virgin Blue’s Fully Flexible fare will be $320*, 30% cheaper than the Qantas fully flexible fare.
Brett Godfrey continued, “We were planning to introduce this service later in the year but Qantas’ decision to reduce capacity inspired us to improve the efficiency of our existing schedule, allowing us to re-direct an aircraft to the daily Brisbane-Whitsundays route. We are confident Virgin Blue’s lower fares, combined with more affordable airport fees will stimulate the market and entice more travellers to the region.”
The flight will also be a huge boost for locals who will be able to head south, not only to Brisbane but also to other destinations with the airline offering easy connections to and from Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.
One of Virgin Blue’s brand new shiny red jets has been named in honour of the destination, with “Whitney Sundays” expected to touch down in its namesake region when introduced into the fleet in October.
“The new flights are part of Virgin Blue’s long term strategy to continue nurturing domestic tourism, especially at a time when Australians are eager to branch out and explore their own country. It will also mean a boost for jobs in the industry, with additional team members needed to cater for the extra flights into the Whitsunday Coast,” Brett Godfrey finished.
The strong ongoing support from the local tourism and business communities, Whitsunday Shire Council and local airport authorities has been a major factoring in securing more Virgin Blue flights to the region.
* 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. The $89 launch fare offer is on sale from today until July 11 and flights are for travel from 5 September until 31 October 2003. Subject to availability.