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Thursday, 14 May 2009

VIRGIN BLUE TO LAUNCH NEW FLIGHTS BETWEEN SYDNEY AND HAMILTON ISLAND

DIRECT FROM SYDNEY TO THE WHITSUNDAYS

VIRGIN BLUE TO LAUNCH NEW FLIGHTS BETWEEN SYDNEY AND HAMILTON ISLAND

Set sail on Hamilton Island with a Virgin Blue sale fare of $99* one way

Virgin Blue has announced it will launch direct flights between Sydney and Hamilton Island, the Gateway to the world famous Whitsundays from 4 July 2009.

The airline’s new direct service will operate daily and provide a convenient link between the New South Wales capital and one of Queensland’s most popular tropical island getaways.

The decision to commit an aircraft to operate the Sydney-Hamilton Island route was made after close analysis around demand for connecting flights via the airline’s existing services from Brisbane to Hamilton Island.

Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said, “In the current climate, it is especially important to ensure we direct aircraft where we see sufficient demand and long term viability. Hamilton Island has long been a popular choice for both local and international travellers who fly to Hamilton Island via Brisbane and we are hopeful the new direct flight will entice even more visitors to experience the wonder of the Whitsundays.”

Glenn Bourke, CEO, Hamilton Island, said, "We are delighted that Virgin Blue is offering this new service to our guests from Sydney who will now be able to enjoy greater flexibility in their travels to and from Hamilton Island. This is also perfect timing for all that we have happening on the Island this year with Race Week in August and the opening of our new Yacht Club and Golf Club around the same time. We also believe that guests at our world class resort, qualia will be excited to take advantage of Virgin's Premium Economy experience”.

Importantly Virgin Blue flights from Sydney will bring some much needed competition to the route which is currently only serviced by one airline.

Virgin Blue’s daily direct flight will depart Sydney at 1015 and touch down at Hamilton Island at 1245 before departing the Island at 1315 and landing in Sydney at 1545.

To celebrate the much anticipated announcement, Virgin Blue is offering a fantastic sale fare of $99* one way between Sydney and Hamilton Island, just in time for Sydney locals to book a mid-winter getaway to the warmth and sunshine of the Whitsundays where the temperature for July often sits at around a pleasant 23 degrees. The special fare is on sale now until 18 May and is for travel between 4 July – 19 August 2009 and 1 November – 9 December 2009.

In the same way that Virgin Blue caters to both the leisure and business markets, Hamilton Island offers fantastic getaway options from the most exclusive accommodation and five star service to island bungalows to suit a more modest budget.

Brett Godfrey added, “Hamilton Island is also the launch point for those keen to explore the area or go island hopping to surrounding islands including Daydream, Hayman, Lizard and South Molle. We are excited to offer the new direct flight from Sydney and hope the combination of seriously low fares like our $99* launch special together with the convenience of a non stop service will inspire people to shake off their winter blues in the world famous Whitsundays.”

Virgin Blue will also be working closely with Hamilton Island to offer terrific packages for the Meetings and Conventions Market, while Blue Holidays will also offer some cracker jack holiday packages including a five night getaway for $878^ per person twin share.

^Hamilton Island - Reef View Hotel

From $878pp twin share

Includes return airfares to Hamilton Island from Sydney and Brisbane

Five nights accommodation in a Garden View Room and full Buffet Breakfast Daily for two

Free use of catamaran, paddle skis, windsurfers and snorkelling equipment

Unlimited use of scheduled island shuttle service, use of gym, spa, sauna, tennis and squash court hire

Kids stay and eat FREE program

Complimentary return Hamilton Island airport/marina to hotel transfers

Stay 5 Pay 4 deal

On sale between 14 May - 18 May 2009 for travel between 4 July - 19 August 2009

* All fares are one way for flights booked on the internet or $15 more when booked by phone. Fares are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights or peak times. A credit card surcharge of an additional $3 per person per one way flight is applicable. For Virgin Blue bookings log on to www.virginblue.com.au or phone our award winning Guest Contact Centre on 13 6789 or contact a travel agent. Fare price is based on GO! Fare and is non-refundable. Checked baggage charges apply to all Blue Saver and GO! Fares. Pre-pay $8 online for up to 23kgs of checked baggage per person one way flight, or pay $20 at the airport for the same allowance.

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