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News: Ansett say ticket sales reflect public confidence

News: Ansett say ticket sales reflect public confidence

Old Feb 26, 02, 6:09 am
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News: Ansett say ticket sales reflect public confidence

Ansett say ticket sales reflect public confidence
MELBOURNE, Feb 26 AAP|Published: Tuesday February 26, 5:50 PM

An increase in Ansett ticket sales for the Easter holidays showed public confidence in the airline, representatives for the beleaguered carrier said today.

But travel agents said passengers must be buying tickets through the internet or the airline's call centres as their customers were ignoring Ansett promotions, preferring to fly Qantas or Virgin Blue.

"People have lost faith in Ansett, the inquiry level is next to nothing," a Flight Centre agent said today.

"Before the collapse they had about 40 per cent of sales. Now we don't sell Ansett
tickets because the inquiries just aren't there," a St Kilda Jetset agent said.

Jetset's busy Airport West agency in Melbourne said agents had refused to sell tickets because Ansett administrators were no longer paying commission.

Ansett representatives today said ticket sales for flights scheduled after the February 28 sale deadline were on the increase.

"They're building up nicely over March, and Easter is looking excellent," a spokeswoman said.

She said sales were expected to increase after the sale to the Tesna syndicate went ahead.

As the sale deadline approached, final details were still being added to the vital airport and airline leasing transfers.

Administrators are continuing to quibble with Tesna over which assets will be included in the sale.

But airport operators say there is no reason why contracts cannot be signed by the due date.

"We're doing everything we can to get there," Melbourne Airport spokeswoman Bianca Polidori said.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority said there was still time for an air operators certificate to be completed.

While analysts speculate on why Tesna has been slow in releasing its new marketing campaign, Qantas and Virgin are preparing themselves for a price and service war.

Virgin Blue extended its hold on the domestic market today, announcing the launch of a direct Melbourne-to-Cairns air service.

The non-stop service between the Victorian capital and one of Australia's most popular holiday destinations will start on May 3.

Flights will operate five days a week, with a special $199 one-way fare and every day $229 ticket.

Ansett has identified Cairns as a future destination.
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