Virgin Australia has announced fast-tracked plans to lease new aircraft, create more frontline jobs and grow its network to further support domestic tourism.
“We’re encouraged by the growth plans being articulated by Australia’s airlines at the moment,” says Sarah Bush, Co-Founder & Director of The Travel Authority Group.
“They certainly reflect the increased client activity in our businesses as Australians plan and book their long-overdue holidays and business trips,” adds Sarah.
The creation of more roles at Virgin Australia will see more than 220 cabin crew return to the skies from the airline’s discontinued long-haul international, ATR regional and Tigerair Australia operations.
The recovery efforts include the reintroduction of 10 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, and the planned return of more than 80 per cent of the airline’s pre-pandemic domestic capacity by mid-June 2021.
After a year of rolling state-based restrictions, pent-up travel demand is driving the launch of several new and expanded services and frequencies on key holiday and business routes.
Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the airline was strongly focused on its domestic recovery program, which includes delivering experiences guests love while providing great value for leisure travellers, corporates and SMEs.
“We are building a strong and disciplined business, obsessed with providing our customers the very best of Virgin Australia travel experiences,” said Ms Hrdlicka.
“Today, we are operating around 850 weekly return flights, and as we approach the June school holidays, we will add another 220 return flights per week to our schedule. By mid-June, we expect to be operating more than 80 per cent of our pre-COVID domestic capacity,” added Hrdlicka.
New and extended seasonal services include:
- Melbourne – Hamilton Island (3 flights per week from 08 June to 31 October)
- Melbourne – Darwin (daily flights from 10 June to 31 October)
- Brisbane – Launceston (4 flights per week from 17 June to 25 July) – seasonal extension
- Melbourne – Ballina Byron Bay (5 flights per week from 09 June to 31 October) – seasonal extension
- Brisbane – Queenstown (4 flights per week from 18 September)
- Sydney – Queenstown (4 flights per week from 18 September)
Expanded frequencies include:
- Sydney – Perth (up to 4 flights per day by 23 May)
- Melbourne – Perth (up to 6 flights per day by 23 May)
- Sydney – Adelaide (up to 5 flights per day by 23 May)
- Melbourne – Adelaide (Up to 9 flights per day by 20 June)
- Brisbane – Adelaide (up to 5 flights per day by 20 June)
- Sydney – Gold Coast (up to 9 flights per day by 20 June)
- Melbourne – Gold Coast (up to 8 flights per day by 20 June)
- Melbourne – Sydney (up to 25 flights per day by 20 June)
- Melbourne – Brisbane (up to 13 flights per day by 20 June)
- Brisbane – Sydney (up to 15 flights per day by 20 June)
- Sunshine Coast – Melbourne (up to 3 flights per day by 20 June)
- Sunshine Coast – Sydney (up to 3 flights per day by 20 June)
- Brisbane – Townsville (up to 4 flights per day by 20 June)
- Brisbane – Mackay (up to 4 flights per day by 20 June)
The airline is hopeful that domestic border closures will soon be a thing of the past and continues to see positive signs of consumer recovery including multiple record-breaking sales days of half-priced fares, with more than 75 per cent of the tickets being booked for travel from May onwards.
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