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Wednesday, 24 December 2008

VIRGIN BLUE KEEPS THE AIR FAIR


DOMESTIC FUEL SURCHARGES REMOVED INTERNATIONAL FUEL SURCHARGES CUT AGAIN

After a further and consistent decline in global oil prices over recent months, Virgin Blue today announced it would drop altogether fuel surcharges on Virgin Blue domestic services and would again reduce fuel surcharges Pacific Blue trans-Tasman and Pacific Island flights – which is the second reduction in as many months.

The last time Virgin Blue increased its fuel surcharge was back in February 2008 in response to successive record hikes in the cost of jet fuel and the airline resisted further fuel surcharge increases when oil reached record peaks of USD$145.00 per barrel in July this year.

Effective 31 December, in the Australian domestic market Virgin Blue will eliminate its fuel surcharge from $19.00 for a one-way domestic flight to zero ($0.00). For Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue one-way international flights, the fuel surcharge will be cut by $10 to $25 (down from $35).

Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said: “Just last month we cut our fuel surcharges by 20% to $19.00 for a one-way domestic flight and $35.00 for Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue one-way international flights; and now we are removing them altogether on Australian domestic routes and cutting them again on our international sectors as a reaffirmation of our commitment to ‘keeping the air fair’. When we launched Virgin Blue eight years ago that was our catch cry – ‘keeping the air fare’ – and it represented our commitment to bringing sustainably low air fares to the Australian domestic aviation market; and it is a historical fact that average fares have been kept much lower ever since.”

“We are reluctant to increase the cost of air travel but those record high jet fuel prices this year forced us – along with airlines around the world - to introduce a levy to cover those costs. We base our decisions on fuel surcharges on a floating average - not the spot price – and now that we have seen a consistent reduction in that it is only fair and right to pass those savings onto our Guests,” Mr Godfrey added.

Multi award winning airline Virgin Blue and international carriers Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue currently operate a fleet of75 modern Boeing 737and Embraer E-Jet aircraft flying to 26 Australian and12international destinations including New Zealand, Fiji, Bali, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatuand the Cook Islands. Virgin Blue was the first airline in the world tolaunch a Government-certified carbon offset program, where Guests can offset the carbon emissions from their flights. Virgin Blue Group has also announced plans to launch Australia's newest international airline, V Australia, set to commence flights between Australia and the USA in the first quarter of 2009, subject to regulatory approvals

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