Pacific Blue to launch Auckland-Cairns services

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Pacific Blue will commence a twice-weekly non-stop service on the Auckland-Cairns route from 23 March 2010, operating Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The new service will increase capacity on the route by 79%, says Pacific Blue, a subsidiary of Australia's Virgin Blue.

"Our decision to commence direct international services from Cairns is due to the overwhelming demand for connecting services via Brisbane and Sydney from New Zealand," says Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey.

"We're particularly excited about this new service as it is our first international service to and from Cairns and will provide much-needed competition on this route."

The only other carrier operating the Auckland-Cairns route is Air New Zealand, which flies thrice-weekly with Airbus A320 aircraft, according to Innovata.