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Virgin to lose routes

Virgin Blue may soon join other airlines’ recent moves to cut services due to surging fuel prices.

With fuel costs remaining record high, the company has been forced to review some of its Queensland routes, a Virgin spokeswoman told the ABC.

She said that along with the reduction of its Gold Coast schedule, the airline is also considering introducing a luggage tax, as toughened security screening made it more costly to check-in luggage than it did to check-in people.

The Queensland Government is urgently injecting $4 million in tourism funding to alleviate the impact of reduced flight services announced by Jetstar and Qantas last week.

Amidst fears of a possible recession in its tourism industry, the mayor of Whitsunday Regional Council Mike Brunker told the ABC that it was better to increase fares than to have no flights available.

“Hopefully, Virgin is actually smart enough to do that and we’ll give Virgin the red carpet treatment when they come to the Witsundays,” he said. 

Virgin is expected to make an announcement on the charges and schedule adjustments this week.

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