Other Thoughts On Polynesian Blue
Ian Heydon of Queensland, Australia, sent me these comments on the new Samoa-bound airline Polynesian Blue:
I don't think most Australians have thought of Samoa as a holiday destination, and for some who had, the previous New Zealand stopover would have been a negative. At present, most of PolyBlue's seats are taken by Samoans visiting friends and relatives (goes pretty dead in February). I think the direct flights (and when they get direct to Rarotonga) will see tourism stay fairly strong from Australia to Samoa and Cooks - and Fiji is starting to give off a negative vibe because it is now seen as the safe alternative for the former Bali 'lager louts'.
I know Virgin will cut non-profitable routes (like Alice Springs), but as long as they are making $1 profit, they will continue all Pacific routes for branding and ego. I am a big fan of Virgin/Pacific/Poly Blue - the crew makes flying a joy (face painting for the kids etc), and I have no problem parting with $5 for a wine or $2.50 for cheese and crackers (bar/café prices) because I have saved on the flight cost. I was chatting with the coach driver who does the transfers for flight crews staying overnight at Brisbane hotels - he said Virgin/Pacific was the best - always laughing and chatting about the positive things that happened to them on board - I think this says a lot.