Virgin Australia will axe its Melbourne-Hong Kong route from 11 February, 2020 as well as trim domestic flights starting from January next year.

“Demand for the Hong Kong route has declined in line with the political landscape and we feel this is now best serviced through a single daily Sydney-Hong Kong service,” said Virgin Australia Group CEO and managing director Paul Scurrah in a press release, referring to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that began in June this year.

The route is currently flown by an Airbus A330. The airline plans to redeploy the plane onto its new Brisbane-Haneda flights set to begin in March next year (see below). Virgin will also begin a Melbourne-Denpasar (Bali) route from 29 March, 2020, which is currently subject to approval.

Domestic routes also cut

The airline says it’s also trimming its domestic capacity by a total of two per cent. The Australian carrier will cut the following domestic routes:

  • Canberra-Perth from 19 January 2020
  • Gold Coast-Perth from 19 January 2020

Flights to Haneda

Last month, Virgin Australia won a slot at Tokyo’s Haneda airport after competing with rival Australian carrier Qantas which had applied for two of the slots allocated to Australian carriers at the airport, which is located much closer to central Tokyo than the city’s other airport Narita and is therefore popular with business travellers.

Virgin Australia’s daily service between Brisbane and Haneda, which will be flown by the 275-seat (20 in business; 255 in economy) A330 redeployed from the Melbourne-Hong Kong route, will mark the airline’s first route to Japan.

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