By James Wilkinson
In a boost to regional West Australian tourism Virgin Blue has announced new Perth-Port Hedland flights, with the first service set to commence on August 4.
Virgin Blue will use Embraer aircraft to Port Hedland
Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey said the decision to direct an aircraft on to the new route follows enthusiastic campaigning by the local council, following the successful launch of services to neighbouring communities Karratha and Newman in October last year.
“We are very pleased to be adding Port Hedland to Virgin Blue’s extensive route network,” Godfrey said. “We visited WA late last year and made a pledge to focus more on regional WA and the announcement is honouring part of that pledge.
“Our commercial team has been in discussions with Port Hedland Council for some months and their efforts to entice Virgin Blue have been very much appreciated (and) the end result of their enthusiasm has been our decision to commence services,” he said.
The news of Virgin Blue’s arrival has been welcomed by the town’s leading campaigner for the flights, Port Hedland mayor Stan Martin.
“This is tremendous news for the local community and we are very pleased that Virgin Blue has seen fit to extend its services to include Port Hedland,” he said.
“Previous history, including in our own Pilbara backyard, has shown what competition can do for a region and we are hopeful there will be many flow on benefits for the people and businesses of Port Hedland.”
To celebrate the launch, Virgin Blue has announced it will offer a special fare of $99 one way on the internet between Port Hedland and Perth.