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Virgin Boosts NZ Flight Numbers

By Ian Neubauer

Virgin Blue has increased flights between Sydney and Auckland to reinforce its presence in the Pacific in the lead up to the launch of trans-Pacific flights to Los Angeles, an analyst said.

“They struggle to make money in New Zealand but they see it as a part of a long-term plan to be able to link in with the US services,” Shaw Stockbroking analyst, Brent Mitchell, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Virgin’s New Zealand-centric Pacific Blue subsidiary will have nine weekly return services between Sydney and Auckland commencing in October, representing an additional 169,000 seats for the route each year. A new Melbourne-Auckland daily service that was announced last month will add 131,000 seats to the subsidiary’s annual capacity.

Virgin Blue’s nascent trans-Pacific subsidiary, V Australia, is scheduled to commence operating on December 15 with ten return flights weekly.