Virgin Australia said it will add new domestic flights and increase frequencies under a revised agreement with the Australian government to “connect essential travellers and critical freight with towns and cities across Australia”.
The revised schedule will start today (May 22) and will remain in place until June 11, with flights now available for booking on the airline’s website, the carrier said in a statement posted on its website.
The changes, which take its “underwritten schedule” from 64 to 76 return services per week, include the following:
• Adding three return services per week between Adelaide and Perth starting May 22
• Increased services between Brisbane and Melbourne from once daily to twice daily
• Increased services between Brisbane and Mackay from five times per week to six times per week
• Increased services between Brisbane and Cairns from three times per week to four times per week
• Increasing capacity between Perth and Newman, Perth-Karratha and Perth-Port Hedland by upgrading the aircraft from a Fokker 100 to Boeing 737
Virgin Australia also said it is collaborating with airlines and airports on a consistent national policy framework as part of the Australian Aviation Recovery Coalition response to Covid-19 and “Some outcomes of those discussions are expected in the coming weeks”.
“Guests should feel assured that Virgin Australia will continue to support connectivity across Australia and looks forward to further easing of state restrictions to enable more Australians to fly. We thank the Federal Government for their support,” said Virgin Australia chief commercial officer John MacLeod.
The Australian carrier entered voluntary administration, with accounting firm Deloitte appointed to oversee the process, in April. The carrier had a virtual meeting with around 1,300 creditors and their representatives later in April which resulted in the airline’s creditors forming a committee of inspection to oversee the administration process.
Currently, Australian carriers are flying very limited domestic schedules. However, Australia has said it will ease social distancing restrictions in a three-step process with the aim of removing all curbs by July. The final phase in its three-step process could see all interstate travel return and some limited international travel may also be allowed.