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Pacific Blue Takes Off To Melbourne

Pacific Blue Takes Off To Melbourne

Direct Flights Between NZ And Melbourne

Virgin Blue’s low fare international carrier, Pacific Blue^ will take off for the first time to Melbourne at 6.10am today, with the inaugural flight touching down in Melbourne at 8:00am.

Pacific Blue, the sister carrier to domestic airline Virgin Blue, launched flights between New Zealand and Australia just weeks ago and is now bringing its Trans-Tasman low fares from Christchurch to Melbourne to complement its existing daily Christchurch-Brisbane service.

From today, Pacific Blue will offer direct daily flights between Christchurch and Melbourne with Mid-Week Mini-Fares starting from $149* one-way on the net, with an everyday low fare starting from $169* and with a Fully Flexible fare of $449* one-way on the net, 36% cheaper than the competition.

A special ‘wow’ fare is also now available with $99** seats up for grabs, for travel between 1 May to 30 June 2004.

Pacific Blue will bring hundreds of additional visitors to Christchurch each week on its modern 737-800 series aircraft, complete with leather seats and performance enhancing “winglets”.

Christchurch has provided a gateway to the South Island of New Zealand for Trans-Tasman traffic, especially in the winter skiing months. The new service from Melbourne will provide new opportunities for Christchurch’s buzzing tourism industry as the Melbourne-Christchurch route has had some serious capacity constraints until now.

Pacific Blue CEO Tony Marks said while its early days, forward bookings for flights between the two cities are trending well.

“Today’s inaugural flights in both directions are fully booked, and that’s a fantastic start, so clearly we are happy with that.”

He added, “We will keep a close eye on demand as we settle in to the market to ascertain the need for more flights in the future, but rest assured, we will give the competition a good run for its money in Melbourne, like Virgin Blue has done domestically.”

Virgin Blue Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, “Melbourne has always been one of Virgin Blue’s most popular destinations domestically and we have no doubt the city’s many shopping, sporting and cultural attractions will appeal to New Zealanders looking for a week’s entertainment or a weekend mini-break.”

While the new flights will be a boost to tourism, South Islanders are also set to benefit from affordable Trans-Tasman fares and more options to jet across the Tasman to hit the shops, cafes and theatres to take in some of the renowned Victorian culture.

After today, Pacific Blue flights will depart Christchurch at 6:10am, landing in Melbourne at 8:00am before turning around and departing at 9:00am, arriving back in New Zealand at 2:20pm. Convenient onward connections are also available to Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston and Perth on Virgin Blue services.

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