Virgin Blue aircraft signageGET set for a domestic airfare war over the next six months as Qantas Group and Virgin Blue ditch marginal routes and redeploy aircraft to the biggest, most popular city-pairs in their network, virtually all of which are on the east coast. Qantas set the ball rolling last week by revealing a 10% capacity increase while Virgin joined the fray today with a series of hard-headed moves – it’s pulled out of the small New Zealand domestic market, boosted trans-Tasman capacity, increased Pacific Blue services to Southeast Asia and confirmed that “recent changes to our flight patterns and frequencies now provide more than 490,000 additional (domestic) seats”. Its international carrier V Australia is also refocusing, exiting Fiji while increasing flights to Los Angeles, Johannesburg and Phuket. Meanwhile, Jetstar has rushed to fill the Kiwi void and will position two extra A320 aircraft in NZ within the next 12 month, giving it eight carriers in the Shaky Isles

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