Virgin upgrade a boost for Coffs
COFFS Harbour’s future as a top-end tourist, commuter and business destination is anything but up in the air.
Virign Blue Airlines has shown its confidence in the city by significantly upgrading its capacity for flights between Coffs Harbour and Sydney and Melbourne.
From mid-May, Virgin Blue will fly Boeing 737 aircraft on its peak demand afternoon service to and from Sydney
The upgrade from the current Embraer service will at this stage apply to peak demand days including Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Virgin Blue’s marketing manager Amanda Bolger said the aircraft upgrade will put an additional 600 seats into the market each week.
“The Easter break further validated this decision with flights from both Sydney and Melbourne heavily booked, indicating holidaymakers are heading to Coffs in strong numbers,” Ms Bolger said.
Virgin Blue will also launch a brand-new direct flight between Coffs Harbour and Melbourne on a Sunday from June 27.
“This flight will complement the existing direct weekly Saturday service and effectively allow for a more convenient weekend getaway for Melbourne travellers to head direct to Coffs for some surf and sunshine.”
The Coffs Harbour Regional Airport commercial manager, Dennis Martin, said he was extremely pleased to hear that Virgin Blue was increasing its capacity in and out of the city.
“After a relatively quiet time last year this addition to capacity reinforces our view that the market is again growing,” Mr Martin said.
“The scheduling of an extra direct flight between here and Melbourne is really exciting.
“It really will open up a complete new market for Coffs Harbour, and allow us to compete directly with the Sunshine and Gold Coasts during those cold winter months when people are keen to get out of Melbourne.
“We have been working very closely with Virgin Blue about increasing their capacity and it is great to see the carrier has responded so enthusiastically.
“We now want to concentrate on additional direct flights between Coffs Harbour and the Victorian capital.”