Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, has announced that Virgin Blue has been selected to take over the passenger service from Perth to Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands currently operated by Cobham Aviation Services with an Avro RJ70. Cobham did not bid on the contract when it came up for renewal. The airline had been due to fly its last service on the route on 28 March 2009, after which it was to have been taken over by SkyAirWorld. When SkyAirWorld suspended operations, however, the government asked Cobham to continue operating the route until a new tender could be made. Virgin Blue will begin operating the route on 1 April 2010, using an Embraer 190.
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