Virgin Express and Malmo Aviation to Codeshare on Routes Between Brussels and Scandinavia

Paris, FRANCE


BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 6, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Virgin Express (Euronext Brussels:VIRE) (OTCBB:VIRGY) has decided not to continue the present codeshare agreement it has with SN Brussels Airlines between Brussels and Scandinavia. The Belgian low fare airline has decided instead to enter into a codeshare agreement with Malmo Aviation, a respected Swedish regional airline, on routes linking Brussels with Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Stockholm.

This agreement will enter into effect as from 30th March 2003.

Virgin Express will fly the three daily rotations on the Brussels-Copenhagen route with its Boeing 737s. Malmo Aviation's Avro RJ100s will operate the three daily flights between Brussels and Stockholm and the two daily flights between Brussels and Gothenburg. On all of these flights Virgin Express and Malmo Aviation will share capacity, which will be sold through their respective distribution channels.

This is the third new cooperation agreement that Virgin Express has signed with independent airlines in recent weeks. Together with our partnership with the Dutch virtual airline BudgetAir on the Amsterdam-Rome route and the codeshare agreement with VLM Airlines on the Brussels-London market, the cooperation with Malmo Aviation strengthens Virgin Express' position. The company has now, for the first time, no business connection with Sabena or its successor.

Neil Burrows, Managing Director of Virgin Express, commented: "I am very pleased with this new partnership with Malmo Aviation, which, like Virgin Express, is renowned for its on-time performance and customer service. I am particularly pleased that our new partner has such a good reputation amongst business passengers. I am convinced that, by joining forces, Malmo Aviation and Virgin Express will offer passengers not only value for money and punctual air transport between Scandinavia and Brussels, but will also stimulate traffic on these markets because our respective sales channels are entirely complementary."

Bromma Airport - Stockholm City Airport

Whereas Virgin Express used to offer flights to and from Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, the flights operated in cooperation with Malmo Aviation will be arrive at and depart from Stockholm-Bromma Airport. Bromma's proximity to the city centre (less than 5 km compared to the 47 km between Arlanda and the city centre of Stockholm) offers a huge time advantages for those travelling in and out of the Swedish capital. Not only do most passengers prefer Bromma Airport for its convenient location, but also for its short check-in times and easy arrival procedures.

About Malmo Aviation

Malmo Aviation is in the unique position of operating connections between Malmo, Gothenburg, Umea and Kristianstad to Stockholm. Stockholm-Bromma Airport has been Malmo Aviation's hub for many years.

In 2002, Malmo Aviation carries about 900,000 passengers on its scheduled routes. During the summer months the Swedish regional airline also operates flights to Visby, Pisa, Venice, Bologna, Glasgow, Dublin and Nice. Through the years charter flights have become an increasingly important supplement to our scheduled flights. Today, Malmo Aviation operates charter services to more than 60 European destinations. Malmo Aviation has recently modernised its entire fleet of aircraft by replacing its Bae 146-200s for nine Avro RJ 100s. The RJ 100 with 112 seats is the largest aircraft permitted to operate from Stockholm/Bromma Airport.

About Virgin Express

In 2002, Virgin Express booked and flew 2.7 million passengers, thus becoming the largest passenger carrier from Brussels Airport.

From 30th March 2003, the Belgian low fare carrier will offer its new Rome-Amsterdam service together with flights from Brussels to Athens, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Faro, Geneva, Gothenburg, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Malaga, Milan, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Rome and Stockholm.

Virgin Express was named 'Best Short Haul Carrier of the Year 2002' by the Belgian travel trade industry. In 2002, its on-time performance network-wide was 91%.

TM Travel Awards

Virgin Express: Best Short Haul Airline of the Year 2002



        

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