Uncertainty the mother of new routes for Virgin

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August 09, 2021
Virgin Australia

When you can’t fly where you want, you fly where you can — and Virgin Australia is making the most out of Australia’s limited options with fresh services between three states that still have open borders.

The services don’t begin until early next month but the grim COVID situation on the eastern seaboard saw the Brisbane-based airline decide to “juggle” its network schedule to launch an Adelaide-Launceston route and return to Adelaide-Darwin in time for the school holidays.

In what is enthusiastically described as an “epic” sale, Virgin is offering economy fares between Adelaide and Launceston from $A59 one way and between Adelaide and Darwin from $119.

READ: Ground handlers warn of threat to summer flights.

Customers who book before midnight Tuesday also get double status credits with the airline’s Velocity loyalty scheme. They can also change or cancel with no fees on travel to February 2022.

The three services per week between Adelaide and Launceston route are due to start September 7 while the four weekly Adelaide-Darwin flights begin September 6.

“As Australia’s favorite airline, we are committed to putting more planes in the sky when we can to create more travel opportunities for Australians,’’ Virgin chief commercial officer Dave Emerson said in announcing the routes.  “Better yet, every booking is flexible to give everybody peace of mind to book.

“More flying also means we’ll have more of our team members in the air and more business for the many hundreds of tourism operators and hospitality venues who rely on the economic injection tourists provide their communities.”

Virgin’s fares include checked baggage and seat allocation and business fares are available from $299 one-way on Adelaide Launceston and $599 on Adelaide-Darwin.

Australian carriers have been slammed by COVID lockdowns, prompting REX to suspend its Boeing 737 services and Qantas to announce earlier this month that it was standing down 2500 staff.

Almost a quarter of flights, the highest number since on-time performance records began, were cancelled in June.