Pacific Blue has inaugurated its first service from Auckland to Cairns this afternoon (Mar 23) in a huge boost to the Far North Queensland conference and incentive market.
Pacific Blue has launched Auckland-Cairns flights
Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey said the new service had already stirred up competition on the route with Pacific Blue attracting solid load bookings into the middle of the year and competitors dropping their fares.
“By the way bookings are currently trending we’re very confident this new, affordable direct service will continue to grow in popularity in both directions,” he said.
The airline will operate twice weekly return flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays and has committed one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft to the route, boosting seat capacity by 79 per cent across ‘the ditch’.
Pacific Blue’s everyday low lead-in fares start from $349 one way on the net, more than 13 per cent cheaper than fares previously available in the market.
“Since we announced our intention to commence services we are not surprised our competitors have seen it necessary to suddenly drop their fares,” Godfrey said.
The new route is also expected to attract a significant number of holidaying Kiwis looking to escape the New Zealand winter chill.