Virgin Australia has launched a new program, making travel more accessible for people in regional communities. Picture: Christian Gilles
Virgin Australia has launched a new program, making travel more accessible for people in regional communities. Picture: Christian Gilles

Airline provides capped airfares for essential travel in CQ

A CENTRAL Highlands leader has welcomed a new program launched by Virgin Australia, making travel more accessible for people in regional communities.

The Regional Fares Program was created for people in select Queensland regions that had essential travel needs, such as for medical treatment or family emergency, to book travel to a capital city at short notice at a capped fare price.

Return flights between Emerald and Brisbane is one of nine routes available across Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Central Highlands’ Mayor Kerry Hayes said the program was a fabulous Christmas gift for the community.

“I’m really, really pleased to hear this news,” he said.

“For so long, people have had this worry about how to fly out of Emerald if they really need to quickly and without paying a fortune.

“To now have that reassurance that no matter what life throws up you can get a seat on a plane and be at Brisbane Airport right away for a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $600 return is a game changer.

“It’s certainly a welcome gift to this region at the end of a pretty tough year.”

Fares are available to residents who are members of the Velocity Frequent Flyer program and who have their profile linked to a regional address that is within range of an eligible port.

The minimum return fare between Emerald and Brisbane is $300 with a maximum cost of $600.

The Emerald to Brisbane route is one of two flights in Queensland, with the other being between Mt Isa and Brisbane.

Virgin Australia general manager network and revenue management, Russell Shaw said the program was launched in response to community feedback to make travel more accessible for those in remote parts of Australia.

“We understand residents in our regional communities sometimes need to make last-minute travel plans, but short booking time frames and demand for these services can mean fares become very expensive, and often the lowest fare types aren’t as flexible if plans change,” he said.

“We’re pleased to be able to help alleviate some of the stress involved when having to book last minute and to keep our guests located in regional areas connected when it matters most.”

Bookings must be made directly through the Regional Fares Program page on the Virgin Australia website.