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New Daily Auckland-Melbourne Service


MEDIA RELEASE

Welcome Aboard Possums!

“Megastar” Launch Flight Celebrates New Daily Auckland-Melbourne Service

Monday 22 September 2008: Glamorous glasses and purple rinses will be in evidence at Auckland Airport today as Pacific Blue begins its new daily service to Melbourne with an inaugural flight that pays homage to one of Australia’s megastars*.

Pacific Blue announced the new service in July, becoming the first low-cost carrier to fly the route. Commenting on today’s launch Pacific Blue’s General Manager, Commercial, Adrian Hamilton-Manns said that once again the airline’s entry to a new market was lowering the cost of air travel for all Kiwis.

“After announcing six weeks ago that we would begin flights from Auckland to Melbourne and Sydney, our competitors have been falling over themselves to try to match our lower fares,” said Mr Hamilton-Manns. “This is exactly what happened when we launched our affordable domestic fares last year, so their efforts have again proved that Pacific Blue is the low-fare leader and shows what real competition can achieve.”

Today’s launch flight from “the City of Sails to Moonee Ponds” takes off at 6.30am (NZST) from Auckland and will arrive in Melbourne four hours later at 8.30am (AEST). The return flight will leave Melbourne at 9.30am (AEST) and touch-down at Auckland Airport to a water-arch welcome at 2.45pm (NZST).

Mr Hamilton-Manns said Pacific Blue was excited to be offering an affordable travel option for Aucklanders to visit Melbourne. “Melbourne is a hugely popular destination for Aucklanders for business and leisure, and now they can visit this cosmopolitan Australian city without paying a fortune.”

Auckland Airport CEO Simon Moutter said that today’s launch flight is a welcome addition to Pacific Blue’s services at Auckland Airport. “It’s great to see Pacific Blue providing more options to travellers who are keen to get across the ditch. Australians and New Zealanders love exploring both countries and we relish the opportunity to welcome more trans-Tasman travellers through Auckland Airport,” said Mr Moutter.

Pacific Blue will be operating one of its brand new Boeing 737-800 Next Generation jets – “Maiden New Zealand” – on today’s launch flight. “We’ve recently taken delivery of two brand new 737-800 jets to support our trans-Tasman and Pacific Island growth,” said Mr Hamilton-Manns. “These new aircraft bring our fleet number to nine and our average fleet age to just over three years.”

In recent months Pacific Blue has announced a range of new routes including Auckland to Melbourne and Sydney, Sydney to Vanuatu, and Brisbane to Port Moresby.

Guests on today’s launch flight from Auckland will be hosted by several Dame Edna lookalikes and will enjoy Pacific Blue’s traditional launch flight celebrations including a glass of bubbly, a slice of traditional Kiwi-Aussie pavlova, a special limited edition launch flight t-shirt giveaway, as well as an in-flight auction and fundraising efforts with all proceeds donated to Variety, the Children’s Charity.

Guests on board the return flight from Melbourne will enjoy similar celebrations on a “Pasifika Style” themed flight, including an innovative partnership between Pacific Blue and Tourism Auckland. Two Tourism Auckland i-Site team members – renamed “Fly-site” for today – will be aboard the flight from Melbourne to promote Auckland to Melbourne Guests and answer questions about visitor attractions in the Auckland region.

* Pacific Blue appreciates that Dame Edna is a megastar, and while we're delighted to pay homage to her on these flights, we'd like to point out that neither Dame Edna, Barry Humphries nor any of his other characters are associated with us, nor has any licence been given to us to use any of Barry Humphries’ characters. Unfortunately, the megastar herself will not be present on the inaugural flights or at associated celebrations.


ENDS


About Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue, Virgin Blue and V Australia

Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue, along with Australian domestic airline Virgin Blue, operate a fleet of 72 modern Boeing 737 and Embraer E-Jet aircraft flying to 25 Australian and eight international destinations including New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands. Virgin Blue Group’s newest airline, V Australia, is set to commence flights between Australia and the USA from December 2008.

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