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Virgin Blue flies 20 Million Passengers

Travel News Asia 7 April 2004

Virgin Blue will today mark a significant milestone when it welcomes on board its 20-millionth passenger, doubling its passenger numbers in a third of the time it took to clock-up its 10-millionth Guest in 2003.

The mystery 20-millionth Guest is expected to board a 9.15am direct flight from Virgin Blue's Melbourne base arriving in the Gold Coast at 11.15am this morning.

Since it launched into Australian skies on 31 August 2000, the low fare airline has travelled more than 175 million kilometres throughout Australia, equivalent to circumnavigating the earth 4300 times.

Virgin Blue Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, "When you consider it took Virgin Blue nearly two years to celebrate 5-million Guests, ten months to carry the second 5-million and less than 12 months to carry another 10-million people, it's a pretty remarkable milestone for an airline that hasn't yet reached its fourth birthday."

Today will be a double celebration for Virgin Blue which not only carried its 20-millionth passenger, but also reached new heights in on-time performance with a figure of 93% for the month of March.

Brett Godfrey continued, "I am very proud of our dedicated team that has not only worked day and night to ensure as many travellers as possible have access to genuine and sustainable low fares, they have also pioneered new standards in on-time performance for Australian airlines."

It has been a busy start to the year for Virgin Blue which has announced new services between Sydney-Ballina/Byron Bay, Melbourne-Proserpine and Newcastle-Brisbane, as well as launching direct services between Melbourne-Darwin that took off this week.

The airline has also ramped up services to a number of key regional areas including Townsville, Cairns and most recently Rockhampton.

"We are very fortunate to be one of the few airlines expanding in the current fiercely competitive global climate and we will remain committed to our high quality, low fare model as we continue to grow our network across the country and overseas", Brett Godfrey finished.

In celebration of today's milestone, the 20-millionth Guest will receive a surprise Virgin Blue show-bag including flight vouchers, 12 month Blue Room membership, champagne, cap, beer cooler, playing cards and Dreamworld passes.

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