Gladstone is showing its newest airline, Virgin Australia. Virgin Australia’s general manager of Regional Operations, John Mackillop, gives the thumbs up ready to go.
Gladstone is showing its newest airline, Virgin Australia. Virgin Australia’s general manager of Regional Operations, John Mackillop, gives the thumbs up ready to go. Brenda Strong GLAVIRG

Virgin territory for air carrier

CHEAPER flights could be on the cards for Gladstone travellers if more scheduled flights are added to the Brisbane route.

A Virgin Australia spokesman said the company believed adding more flights on the Gladstone-Brisbane route would intensify competition and affect prices.

The airline was responding to questions from The Observer after some members of the community stated they would like lower fares from the airlines competing on the route - Virgin Australia and QantasLink.

Gladstone's travelling community was abuzz with optimism when Virgin entered the market a month ago, as the expectation was competition with Qantas would lower prices.

A Virgin spokeswoman said the company was proving excellent value for money.

"Virgin Australia has fares commencing from $88 one way available on the internet. That represents great value for money," she said. "We believe that as more services are added to this route fares will reflect the competition."

The community response had been "exceptional", she said.

"Demand for our twice-daily services (Monday to Friday) between Brisbane and Gladstone has been so strong in the first month of operation that we will be adding a third daily flight between the cities from 16 January, 2012."

Qantas was approached for comment, but had not responded at time of print.

Flight Path

2011 has been a roller-coaster year for Gladstone's flying public. Strategic Air entered the market in April, vowing to compete with QantasLink. But the budget carrier's venture in Gladstone lasted only a few months before pulling out.


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