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Virgin releases Brisbane to Gladstone, Port Macquarie prices

By danwarne     Filed under: sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Skywest, Virgin Australia, Gladstone, Port Macquarie, Gladstone to Brisbane, Port Macquarie to Brisbane, ATR, ATR 72-500

Virgin Australia has announced pricing for its new Brisbane/Gladstone and Brisbane/Port Macquarie flights, commencing mid-October.

Currently the only airlines operating the Brisbane/Gladstone route are Qantas, which charges $376 for the one hour flight, and Strategic Airlines, which charges between $90 and $166.58.

There are currently no direct flights between Brisbane and Port Macquarie.

Virgin Australia says the new schedule will provide:

  • Double daily week-day return Brisbane to Gladstone from $89 one way;
  • Daily return Brisbane to Port Macquarie, from $99 one way;

It will also increase the number of Sydney/Canberra services, with current pricing unchanged.

  • Double daily Sydney to Port Macquarie; and
  • Up to six daily return services between Sydney to Canberra (up to 60 a week, Virgin says)

The news will be particularly welcome for businesspeople in Port Macquarie and Gladstone wanting to catch international flights out of Brisbane.

It also means that travellers from Port Macquarie will be able to fly directly to Queensland without having to first fly to Sydney.

The new French-made ATR 72-500 aircraft to be used on the routes will replace Virgin's relatively young fleet of Embraer E170 jets, which haven't worked out for the airline due to uneconomical fuel consumption for the routes they're flying.

The ATR 72-500 is a twin-propeller plane that can seat 68 people in what Virgin promises are "spacious and stylish" surrounds (but presumably can't provide quite the smooth ride that a jet can).

You can see a picture of what the plane looks like here.

Under the alliance, Skywest will operate and maintain the aircraft on behalf of Virgin Australia using Virgin Australia’s branding and inflight products and services.

The first two ATR aircraft are named after the Far North Queensland beaches - Mission Beach and Four-Mile Beach.


About danwarne

Dan is a tech enthusiast who frequently qualifies for enhanced airport security screening due to the number of cords and gadgets stuffed into his cabin bag.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 28/7/11 by CBRQF

Surely the E70s arent that old? I am actually quite a fan of any of the Embraer jets.

1 on 28/7/11 by am

Nope - just uneconomical on short regional routes which makes them unprofitable...

1 on 28/7/11 by CBRQF

Oh fair enough. That is unfortunate. They were one of the reasons I flew Virgin over Qantas from Canberra to Sydney but if they are both going to fly turboprops i'll go back to Qantas.

1 on 28/7/11 by am

Not all is lost! They are keeping the E190s so you might be lucky and see them going in/out of CBR...

2 on 29/7/11 by danwarne

I quite like turboprops.. it's a bit of a different flying experience. I only flew my first two turboprop flights in NZ recently and was surprised at what a smooth flight it was. (Admittedly, much smoother on the bigger turboprop than the tiny one I was on for the first flight which felt a bit like balsa wood in water...)

2 on 31/7/11 by curtisj

 The ATR aircrafts are aren't as nice as the Embraer but I will still fly Virgin regardless, service always prevails over whatever aircraft the airline may fly.


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