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Clare Martin VIRGIN BLUE REMAIN COMMITTED TO THE TERRITORY by lindash

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Clare Martin VIRGIN BLUE REMAIN COMMITTED TO THE TERRITORY

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									                                                                       Clare Martin
                                                                     CHIEF MINISTER
                                                              MINISTER FOR TOURISM

                                               20 May 2005

        VIRGIN BLUE REMAIN COMMITTED TO THE TERRITORY
Chief Minister, Clare Martin, today refuted suggestions that Virgin Blue was about to pull out of the
Northern Territory.

“We have been working with Virgin Blue for a long time on ways to improve the performance of their
Northern Territory routes,” she said.

“I met with Virgin Blue Chairman Chris Corrigan six weeks ago in Sydney and he assured me that they
were committed to a national service.”

Virgin Blue announced a $138 million profit on Wednesday and stated that it was committed to
strengthening its network and building its presence in the market.

Virgin Blue representatives have been in Darwin this week talking to the Tourism Commission and the
Northern Territory Aviation Committee about some of their concerns on passenger numbers on certain
routes.

“We have made it clear to Virgin Blue that we believe they can improve their passenger levels on
Territory routes if they alter schedules to include day time flights, particularly on their Sydney – Darwin
routes,” Ms Martin said.

Virgin Blue is looking at updating its reservation system to make more of interlining opportunities with
international carriers. Better interlining will enable them to capture more of the international visitors
market.

The Government is also talking to Virgin Blue about marketing its services through Territory
Discoveries.

“We are offering Virgin Blue the option of including their flights as part of Northern Territory package
deals,” she said.

Ms Martin said that the Government has received no formal offer for a cash subsidy from Virgin Blue.

“We initially committed $4 million to Virgin Blue to bring them to the Territory but we would not
consider any further taxpayer subsidy of their costs,” she said.



Contact: Craig Rowston 0401 119 777

								
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