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Direct Flights To Rarotonga Take Off

21 March 2005

Direct Flights To Rarotonga Take Off

Pacific Blue Expands Its Network To Cook Islands

Virgin Blue’s international airline Pacific Blue^ will tomorrow launch yet another new route with the first flight to the Cook Islands from Sydney (Australia) via Christchurch (New Zealand).

The new destination compliments the carrier’s existing Pacific Island services to and from Vanuatu and Fiji, with the expanding network being an exciting step forward for the airline and its Guests, as well as Cook Islands Tourism. The non-stop weekly service marks the carrier’s first direct Pacific Island destination from New Zealand. The flight starts in Sydney with Australian Guests transiting briefly through Christchurch before continuing on to the popular Cook Islands.

Pacific Blue CEO, Tony Marks said, “Tomorrow’s Cook Island launch is the result of months of working closely with a number of parties including Cook Island Tourism as well as Government and airport officials. Their co-operation together with our commitment to provide flights to and from the Cook Island will allow Pacific Blue the opportunity to do what it has done in other markets and bring more people to the destination through market stimulation.”

Tony Marks continued, “In our 12 months of operation we’ve shown the public and the travel industry that Pacific Blue offers great service at a price much lower than traditional carriers. The Cook Islands will benefit from the increased competition that a new carrier brings after being an aviation monopoly for far too long.”

Cook Islands Tourism CEO, Chris Wong said “The commencement of Pacific Blue services between Christchurch and Rarotonga marks another milestone in the development of tourism in the Cook Islands.

This is an exciting venture as it further opens up the South Island of New Zealand to the Cooks. This is a market which we have wanted to tap into for some time now but have not been able to fully capitalise on its potential without direct services.”

Mr Wong continued, “Pacific Blue’s new service provides an added bonus for the Cook Islands as it also opens up an additional avenue for Australians to visit the destination as the flight originates there. We are thrilled with this new service and look forward to working closely with Pacific Blue in developing travel to the Cook Islands to our mutual benefit.”

The inaugural flight will depart Christchurch at 5.45pm tomorrow following official Cook Island style celebrations including a Rarotonga dance troop, floral leis, palm trees and fruit punch.

The new non-stop Pacific Blue service will provide much needed competition on the route which is expected to stimulate traffic with affordable fares and increased flight time options rather than just being restricted to the service and schedule offered by one airline.

Everyday low fares between Christchurch and Rarotonga start from $299* one-way on the net (plus taxes and charges from $36), with a Blue Plus fare of $549* (plus taxes and charges from $36) one-way on the net.

Pacific Blue will closely monitor support for the initial weekly flight to determine if there is enough demand to warrant additional services in the future.

Among those on hand to celebrate the historic first flight will be costumed contestants from Christchurch radio station “The Breeze’. The station has been running a competition over the last month to encourage listeners to dress up in their most creative Pacific Blue costume in order to win a return trip for 2 on the first flight, 7 night’s accommodation and $100 duty free vouchers courtesy of House of Travel. Page 1 of 2 SCHEDULE

CHRISTCHURCH - RAROTONGA SCHEDULE

FLIGHT N0 DEP ARR MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN

DJ 151 5.45pm 12.35am ƒÁ

RAROTONGA - CHRISTCHURCH SCHEDULE

FLIGHT N0 DEP ARR MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN

DJ 150 1.20am 4.45am ƒÁ

FARE INFORMATION FOR THE NEW ZEALAND ORIGINATING MARKET

As per industry practice all fares in New Zealand are shown in NZ$ and exclude all taxes and charges CHRISTCHURCH TO RAROTONGA Fair fare (lead in price): NZ$299* (plus taxes and charges from $36) Blue Plus fare: NZ$549* (plus taxes and charges from $36)

* Fares are one-way on the net, or $10 more by phone. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one way flight is applicable. Taxes and charges are correct as at 18 March 2005 and are subject to change.

^International flights to New Zealand operated by Pacific Blue Airlines (N.Z.) Ltd. International flights to Fiji and the Cook Islands offered by Pacific Blue Airlines (Aust) Pty. Ltd. and operated by Pacific Blue Airlines (N.Z.) Ltd.

Pacific Blue is Virgin Blue’s New Zealand based low fare carrier, operating three brand new 737-800’s. For Pacific Blue bookings log on to www.flypacificblue.com, phone 0800 67 00 00 or contact your travel agent.

ENDS

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