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30th Dec 2009, 09:35

New Year Surprise for tropical North Queensland

Virgin Blue to launch new Cains – Auckland Flights! Sale Fares from $249* one way

Wednesday 30 December, 2009: Virgin Blue has re-affirmed its commitment to the people of Far North Queensland with the announcement that it will launch its first international service from Cairns to Auckland from 23 March 2010.

Virgin Blue’s New Zealand-based international airline, Pacific Blue, will operate the twice weekly flight, which is scheduled on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with the airline committing a Boeing 737-800 aircraft to the market, representing a 79% increase in seats available on the route.

In order to get the new route off the ground the airline has collaborated with a number of stakeholders including Cairns Airport Pty Ltd which has worked tirelessly to support Virgin Blue's first international service.

In celebration of the new services, the airline has launched a seven day ‘Happy New Year Sale’ with special fares for direct flights between Cairns - Auckland from $249* one way on the net, available from today until midnight 5 January 2010.

Following the sale, regular lead-in fares will start from $349* one way on the net, around 15%^ cheaper than what is currently available with the only other competitor airline servicing the non-stop route.

With over30,000 visitors from New Zealand heading to Tropical North Queensland every year, Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said the new services will not only provide an alternative travel option but will also help grow the market.

“We’re particularly excited about this new service as it’s our first international route to and from Cairns.

“Importantly, we know that by putting more seats into the market and creating more competition we will be helping to stimulate tourism to the popular Far North Queensland region.”

“Furthermore, the non-stop services will negate the need for travellers in either direction to connect via other ports, so a trip ‘across the ditch’ will be a much quicker, more convenient and affordable option for everyone,” Brett Godfrey finished.

For those looking for a New Year get away, Virgin Blue Airlines Group’s holiday program Blue Holidays also has a great package deal on offer including return flights from Cairns to Auckland and three nights in a Superior Room at Rydges Auckland from $870 per person twin share#.

30th Dec 2009, 09:56
Following the sale, regular lead-in fares will start from $349* one way on the net, around 15%^ cheaper than what is currently available with the only other competitor airline servicing the non-stop route.
15% cheaper aint much. Add your typical Virgin baggage fees and might need to buy a meal for the long trek and we are not talking 15% cheaper than ANZ who are all inclusive.

The price seems excessive for a 5hr~ flight on a LCC, and that is just the base fare with nothing added.

30th Dec 2009, 20:28
Seems like one of Pac Blues better new route choices. A leisure market where low freq is OK and only one direct competitor, plus the ability to provide service on the other days via Brisbane.

Pac Blues international fares include 20kg baggage.

Virgin Blue Fare Types (http://www.virginblue.com.au/Personal/Bookings/Faretypes/index.htm)

I personally would value the meals etc around $20, so being say $50 cheaper than AirNZ seems competitive, but not compelling.

The evening timing ex-Cairns of 10pm/11pm (depending on daylight saving) is such that people will probably eat in Cairns and be happy sleeping on the flight and not miss the meal. Personally on 4 - 6 hour red eyes I find the meal service can be a nuisance (eg AIrNZ serving brekky at 1am ex Apia).

Having looked at their website, the timing of NZ domestic connecting flights eg Auckland - Wellington is poor. Personally I think DJ would really benefit from having a slight increase in NZ domestic frequency to increase both their domestic appeal and to service their Cairns and South Pac flights ex Auckland. However I guess the NZ domestic market is rather crowded as it is.

31st Dec 2009, 07:26
What's with the asterisk on the fare price - does that mean plus taxes? $349 as a lead in fare is not cheap if it's + taxes. NZ currently have $314 + as a fare throughout March. Even the special $249* isn't that cheap. NZ offer cheaper than that occasionally. I have regularly travelled to/from CNS around the $700-800 return trip.

Pac Blu may need to rethink if they want to take the "parochial" Kiwi away from Air NZ. Been tried before.


31st Dec 2009, 09:54
The $249 includes taxes and 20kg luggage but not $5 credit card fee. I found return flights ex Akld for around NZ$550 all up on muliple dates.

The asterix points to the following:

* All fares are subject to availability, are one-way on the internet or $15 more by phone. Seats are limited and may not be available at peak times or on all flights. A credit/debit card fee of $5 per person per one-way flight applies. Sale fares include taxes, fees and surcharges


6th Jan 2010, 04:44
A bit off topic, but are PB still hiring?? :}

6th Jan 2010, 07:10
whos crewing it ..... vb or pb crew

6th Jan 2010, 07:23
whos crewing it

PB as it is an AKL-CNS-AKL trip, subject to change:hmm:


6th Jan 2010, 18:42
A bit off topic, but are PB still hiring??

As far as I know yes, they need more crew. There is a group on an induction course starting on the 23rd Jan.

6th Jan 2010, 21:23
As we saw in the last uptake, as the major carriers increase their numbers they will draw from those who do not pay so well...........so expect PB to be recruiting for quite some time as they strive to replace those attracted to greener pastures. The demand for pilots and engineers will really bite in approx 6-8 months.

7th Jan 2010, 04:55
Have the "office workers" amended the Flight and Duty Time limits to suit the new schedule yet? :rolleyes:

Goat Whisperer
7th Jan 2010, 09:39
Gotta love a company that can unilaterally amend Flight/Duty limits by FCON (Flight Crew Op Notice).