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New Melbourne (Australia) Terminal open for Business

Travel News Asia 26 August 2002

Virgin Blue and Guests now have more room to move in Melbourne with the low fare airline beginning operations out of the South Terminal.

It follows last month's 10-year agreement between Virgin Blue and Melbourne Airport regarding access to the vacant former Ansett facility, after Virgin Blue outgrew the Domestic Express Terminal.

The move will cement Virgin Blue's position as Australia's number one airline when it come to low fares and high quality service, providing an additional six check-in desks as well as seven departure and arrival gates, meaning added efficiency for Guests checking in during peak times.

It will also mean the opportunity for the airline to increase the number of future flights in and out of the Victorian capital, already Virgin Blue's largest single operations base with 70 flights a day in and out of Melbourne. 

Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, "Operating from Melbourne Airport's modern, comfortable facility at a fair price is a vital part of our long term expansion plan."

He continued, "Melbourne Airport clearly has a good understanding of Virgin Blue's future needs and is happy to let us manage a great airline while they manage a great airport. Their co-operative and consultative approach will allow the continued growth of high quality, low fare services to Melbourne and we only wish Macquarie's Sydney Airport could learn from Melbourne's example".

Virgin Blue has arranged flexible procedures that will allow it to continue boarding and disembarking using stairs on sunny days, after Virgin Blue Guests regularly comment on how much they enjoy seeing the aircraft they are flying in rather than being shunted through a tunnel. 

The efficient method of using front and back stairs is also a key factor in maintaining Virgin Blue's outstanding on-time performance record. However, the airline will now also have full access to aerobridges during inclement weather or to assist special needs Guests.

The other benefits for passengers include improved baggage collection, a wide selection of concessions as well as convenient and weather protected access to other airport facilities such as parking, hotels and the International terminal.

Brett Godfrey added, "It's all about flexibility, convenience, comfort and affordable fares. Melbourne Airport has engineered a win-win for all involved, most importantly Virgin Blue Guests who will enjoy a fantastic facility but still have access to affordable air fares."

Virgin Blue is Australia's multi-award winning low fare airline servicing every state and territory in the country with its fleet of brand new Next Generation 737 aircraft.

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