Virgin Australia hopes to get more Aussies flying to Perth

Perth and the West Coast can be treated as long-haul destinations for East Coast Aussies. Flying across the country can easily take more than five hours. Granted this is better than the 42 hours you would have to spend behind the wheel of a car to get there, but it makes securing a comfortable in-flight seat a must.

So news that Virgin Australia is boosting its East Coast services to Perth to the beautiful, western town by introducing another Airbus A330 this September will be music to the ears of many a domestic traveler.

Airbus aircraft are usually associated with long-haul, international flights and are big enough to offer luxuries like in-flight catering. So travellers will be able to head from Sydney to Perth in a much more amenable environment – one that even offers in-flight entertainment.

Virgin Australia's head of alliances, network and yield Merren McArthur said the change in fleet stock amounted to a major enhancement that would hopefully make the flight operator "the airline of choice in Australia".

She added: "We have listened to our guests and we understand that consistency of product and services, a competitive schedule and inclusive catering and entertainment make a real difference on these longer journeys."

One of the reasons Virgin could be overhauling its internal flights fleet is that record numbers of Australians are taking trips overseas – not least because of the strong dollar, which means Aussie jetsetters are getting the best exchange rates when heading abroad.

In fact, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that last year 819,000 people headed to the US – a destination that would often be out of many travelers' reach – as costly, long-haul trips became more feasible.

It also seems that Aussies are spending more too, with Visa noting recently that travellers from Down Under spent $6.8 million on their travel credit cards in 2011, a six per cent increase on 2010 figures.

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