The Virgin Australia Group will increase domestic flights in July as Australia moves to ease coronavirus restrictions.

The carrier says the additional services will see it double its current capacity by early July, adding “approximately 30,000 seats across 320 flights per week to its domestic schedule”.

It is currently operating six per cent of its pre-coronavirus capacity and will be increasing to “around 13 per cent” in July, the airline confirmed to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific.

Virgin Australia will resume services between Brisbane-Adelaide, Brisbane-Canberra, Brisbane-Perth and Sydney-Perth, and offer “expanded capital city connections” and frequencies between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, the carrier said in a press release.

“It’s early days but these services will be a welcomed boost to Australia’s tourism industry and help the nation’s economy and aviation sector to rebuild,” said Virgin Australia Group chief commercial officer John MacLeod.

The full domestic schedule can be viewed here.

Rival Australian carrier Qantas has also announced plans to ramp up domestic flights in July. 

New safety measures 

Virgin Australia said it will also introduce “pre-departure eligibility and health screening”, contactless check-in, frequent cleaning onboard and at the airport, and “expanded social distancing measures” as part of its enhanced health and safety measures. The measures will be fully implemented by June 12, according to the carrier.

However, social distancing on flights may not always be available.

“Wherever possible, we will try to do our best to keep an empty seat between guests travelling alone, however this may not always be available. Families and travelling companions will be able to sit together,” said Virgin Australia group medical officer Dr. Sara Souter.

Voluntary administration

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.

On June 2, the troubled airline narrowed the shortlist of bidders down to two: Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners. The carrier said “it is still the intention to have a binding agreement in place by June 30”.

Virgin Australia goes into administration