Emirates and Virgin Blue join hands

Emirates and Virgin Blue airlines have teamed up to launch the Emirates Visit Australia Pass allowing unprecedented access Down Under.

Emirates and Virgin Blue join hands

Emirates and Virgin Blue airlines have teamed up to launch the Emirates Visit Australia Pass allowing unprecedented access Down Under. The pass offers attractively-priced domestic connections to 22 additional Australian destinations on Virgin Blue from all four Australian cities currently served by Emirates – Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

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Emirates passengers visiting this large, diverse, and stunning country can extend their journey to Adelaide, Albury, Broome, Byron Bay, Cairns, Canberra, Coffs Harbour, Darwin, Fraser Coast, Gold Coast, Hamilton Island, Hobart, Karratha, Launceston, Mackay, Mildura, Newcastle, Newman, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, and Whitsunday Coast with Virgin Blue. The selection of cities will be expanded to include new destinations operated by Virgin Blue in the future.

The Emirates Visit Australia Pass heralds positive news for Australian tourism – especially for centers outside the major cities.

The pass is yet another compelling consumer offer from Emirates and Virgin Blue, and closely follows an interline agreement reached between the two airlines last month to provide a convenient, single ticket option for travelers flying to regional points in Australia. Both initiatives will pave the way for seamless travel between Emirates’ extensive global network of 99 destinations in 60 countries and Virgin Blue’s robust Australian footprint.

Richard Vaughan, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president, Commercial Operations Worldwide noted: “Due to the sheer size of Australia, many visitors prefer to fly, as against drive, within the country. With the Emirates Visit Australia Pass, our passengers will benefit from an increased reach, conveniently accessing 22 additional Australian gateways from our four online points.

“We look forward to working with Virgin Blue and hope to grow this relationship to deliver a truly competitive offering for our customers.”

The pass must be issued in combination with return flights on Emirates to Australia on a single ticket. The international return journey must originate outside Australia and New Zealand. For travelers it means an enhanced travel experience with simple and streamlined ticketing. A minimum of two and a maximum of four domestic Virgin Blue flights can be combined with Emirates flights. Ticketing must be completed by March 31, 2010, and travel should conclude within the validity period of the international ticket.

Interline guests transitting through Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney will be provided free transfers between the domestic and international airports.

Mr. Vaughan added: “The Emirates Visit Australia Pass is an encouraging development for the Australian tourism industry as it offers an easy incentive for overseas travelers to see more of Australia and thereby stay longer. Emirates’ initiative to sell this product via travel agents worldwide is testament to its commitment to the Australian market.”

About Emirates
Since its launch in 1985, Emirates airline has received more than 400 international awards in recognition of its efforts to provide unsurpassed levels of customer service. It is based in Dubai, one of the few cities in the world that pursues an open-skies policy, with more than 140 airlines in free and fair competition. Its 135 all wide-bodied fleet is among the youngest in the skies, with an average age of 67 months. Emirates operates services to 60 countries in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Asia-Pacific. For more information visit www.emirates.com.

About Virgin Blue
Virgin Blue is Australia’s multi-award winning airline offering outstanding service and a range of innovative products and features that better meet the needs of all travelers. Virgin Blue’s Premium Economy product offers spacious 2 x 2 seating, priority check-in, an increased baggage allowance of 32 kilograms, complimentary in-flight snacks and drinks, live2air in-flight television, entry to Virgin Blue’s airport lounge facilities, and fully flexible fares. For more information visit www.virginblue.com.