Virgin Blue has revamped its flight schedule to maximise convenience for guests and to allow business travellers to…
It follows the recent move into bigger airport terminal facilities in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. The airline literally has room to grow and is taking delivery of more brand new Boeing 737 aircraft that will be used to introduce new flights as well as increase frequency on existing routes.
Due to Virgin Blue’s legal action against the Macquarie controlled Sydney Airport, Virgin Blue has also introduced a schedule that will reduce over-crowding at the Sydney terminal, while protecting passengers from unscrupulous price increases.
The new Sydney schedule reduces peaks and troughs, ensuring that the Domestic Express Terminal can increase the number of flights it handles while avoiding any inconvenience to passengers. The facility will now cater to no more than 650 Guests per hour compared to the July peak loads of over 850.
This will ensure a more comfortable check-in and boarding experience for guests throughout the entire Summer season, until Virgin Blue’s case against Macquarie’s Sydney Airport goes before the NSW Supreme Court in March 2003.
Among the network wide schedule changes are half hourly peak services between Sydney and Melbourne (hourly throughout the rest of the day) and hourly services between Sydney and Brisbane. The new schedule, effective 27 October 2002, will especially benefit Virgin’s growing number of corporate accounts who will be able to commit more volume to the low fare airline, save more on their travel budget and have more flight choices to suit their travel needs.
Special highlights for each port are as follows:
- A re-timed schedule for day travellers going to Brisbane on business with the ability to depart at 9.10am arriving at 10.55am and returning in the evening at 6.30pm.
- Improved timings on Adelaide-Sydney flights to benefit Guests who want to maximise their business day in Sydney before returning home for dinner. The first flight departs Adelaide for Sydney at 6.35am with return flight options at 4.05pm and 5.45pm.
- The launch of hourly flights from Brisbane to Sydney taking the total number of daily flights to 16.
- Improvements in the Brisbane-Melbourne flight schedule to better suit the needs of business travellers with the introduction of an additional peak evening return service to Brisbane taking the number of flights on this key business route to 8 per day. Flights now depart Melbourne for Brisbane at 4.00pm, 5.00pm and 7.30pm.
- A re-timed Brisbane to Canberra morning service to allow Brisbane based Guests to get to Canberra, be it for a power lunch or some great sightseeing in the nation’s capital, with the service departing Brisbane at 8.35am arriving into Canberra at 11.20am.
- A newly timed schedule for Brisbane-Mackay flights allowing Guests to depart Brisbane after lunch at 2.30pm allowing them to be in the beautiful Whitsundays in time for cocktails. Return travellers will leave Mackay at 4.30pm arriving in Brisbane at 5.50pm so that travellers can make the most of their business or leisure day in the tropics.
- More convenient departure times from Brisbane to Townsville with flights departing Brisbane at 1.55pm & 6.45pm.
- A late afternoon departure at 3.35pm, allows Coffs Guests to get to Sydney in time for a night on the town or that business dinner with an arrival time of 4.40pm. Returns are conveniently scheduled after lunch from Sydney to Coffs at 2.05pm.
- The new flight time still allows Coffs based Guests to connect to Melbourne arriving at 6.40pm in time for a night at the theatre or Casino.
Virgin Blue’s commitment to the Gold Coast from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide is stronger than ever with the following improvement:
- An additional service from the Gold Coast to Melbourne on Sundays, following huge demand for more weekend capacity on this popular holiday route. This additional service now means that Virgin Blue operates 3 return services to Melbourne over the weekend with 2 return services operating Monday to Friday. This extra flying represents a 6% increase in Virgin Blue seats on the route.
- Hobart flyers will now benefit from affordable business daily returns to Melbourne and beyond, just as Launceston has benefited for many months. With Qantas’s recent cut in capacity to Hobart, Virgin Blue sees this as a strong opportunity to capitalise on the tremendous support it has received thus far from the people of Hobart.
- The second Virgin Blue flight will depart Hobart at 6.35am arriving into Melbourne at 7.45am, while the additional returning service will depart Melbourne at 7.45pm arriving into Hobart at 8.55pm and will allow Hobart based business Guests a full working day in Melbourne as well as convenient day trips to Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney.
- A newly timed schedule for Mackay-Brisbane flights with the direct service departing Mackay at 4.30pm, arriving Brisbane at 5.50pm to allow a full day before heading off to the big city for dinner or for a weekend getaway. It will also offer an after lunch return from Brisbane at 2.30pm.
- Launch of flights every half hour between Melbourne and Sydney during peak business travel periods and hourly flights throughout the rest of the day. With 18 flights a day, Virgin Blue is able to address the needs of its thousands of weekly business flyers on Australia’s most critical business corridor.
- An improved schedule for Melbourne-Brisbane flights to better suit the needs of business travellers with the introduction of an additional peak morning service from Melbourne to Brisbane so that options are offered at 7.00am, 8.30am or 10.15am for a full business day or quick weekend getaway. Virgin Blue operates 8 daily returns on this key business and leisure route.
- The introduction of a second daily departure to picturesque Hobart in time for the summer holidays, allowing passengers a quick getaway after work at 7.45pm. Virgin Blue’s strong belief that the Hobart market has significant growth potential flies in the face of Qantas’s decision to cut services on the Melbourne-Hobart route. Virgin Blue is confident the route can support more seats following huge demand since the low fare carrier launched flights between the Tasmanian and Victorian capitals a month ago.
A complete re-timing of all Sydney flights to avoid recent overcrowding while ensuring that Sydney travellers don’t get belted by an overpriced airport.
- Launch of fights every half hour between Sydney and Melbourne during peak business travel periods and hourly flights throughout the rest of the day. With 18 flights a day, Virgin Blue is able to address the needs of its thousands of weekly business flyers on Australia’s most critical business corridor.
- The launch of hourly flights from Sydney to Brisbane taking the total number of daily flights to 16.
- Improved timings on Sydney-Adelaide flights to benefit Guests who want to maximise their business day in Adelaide before returning home for dinner. Flights depart Sydney for Adelaide at 7.05am with return flight options at 3.20pm and 6.10pm.
- An improved afternoon flight from Sydney to Coffs Harbour to allow a longer day in Coffs whether it’s for that important lunch meeting or simply an extra round of golf before flying back to Sydney. The newly timed departure will leave Coffs Harbour at 3.35pm arriving into Sydney conveniently at 4.40pm.
- Due to tremendous demand for flights to the Sunshine Coast from Sydney which begin on October 17, an additional flight has already been added on Sunday taking it to two flights a day on Sundays and daily flights every other day.
While this route has yet to be launched, forward bookings are so strong Virgin Blue is already increasing capacity to meet demand.
- An additional Sunshine Coast to Sydney service operating on a Sunday afternoon leaving Maroochydore at 4.45pm allowing leisure travellers to maximise their time on the coast with a convenient arrival into Sydney at 7.20pm. This additional Sunday only service has been added as a consequence of very strong support for the daily service to Sydney that begins on 17 October.
- Following the continued strong support of the people of Townsville to back the airline that brought real competition to the tropics, Virgin Blue has kept its commitment to re-schedule its flights to meet the needs of the Townsville business community. Virgin Blue’s new morning schedule still allows for a few minutes of extra sleep departing Townsville at 6.20am providing a convenient but not too early 8.00am arrival in Brisbane and returns in the evening departing Brisbane at 6.45pm. This is in addition to our convenient afternoon departure designed to meet the needs of leisure travellers and the vital tourism market.
- Townsville business travellers will also benefit from the ability to make day trips to Sydney and Melbourne.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.