Virgin Australia to stretch its wings

June 11, 2020

Virgin Australia will increase its domestic flying and introduce new safety and wellbeing measures as state travel restrictions begin to ease and more travellers return to the skies.

The additional services will double capacity by early July, adding approximately 30,000 seats across 320 flights per week to the airline’s domestic schedule.

Virgin Australia will also introduce a comprehensive new set of safety and wellbeing measures including pre-departure eligibility and health screening, contactless check-in, more frequent cleaning onboard and at the airport, and expanded social distancing measures.

The measures, which will be fully implemented by June 12 have been developed in close collaboration with airlines and airports across Australia as part of the Australian Aviation Recovery Coalition. It says that the measures will continue to be reviewed in line with any changes to its schedule, the latest medical advice, government restrictions and guest feedback.

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Virgin Australia Group Chief Commercial Officer John MacLeod said “by early July, we will have gradually added approximately 30,000 seats across 320 flights per week to our schedule – more than doubling our capacity and providing more flexibility for guests.

“It’s early days but these services will be a welcome boost to Australia’s tourism industry and help the nation’s economy and aviation sector to rebuild.

Virgin Australia Group Medical Officer Dr Sara Souter said the new measures will ensure that the airline appropriately manages the latest advice from the government and remain vigilant when it comes to hygiene and personal protection.

“We will be adopting contactless check-in, new sequenced boarding and disembarkation process and guests will see more frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces on the aircraft and within the airport. In addition, a new health questionnaire will be rolled out as part of the check-in process to ensure passengers are fit to fly and to assist with contact tracing,” said Dr Souter.

“Everyone has a role to play, which is why we are asking guests to be mindful of their own personal protection and others when moving around the cabin. Team members and guests are being encouraged to regularly wash their hands and avoid touching their face, and hand sanitiser and masks will be available to all guests on request.

“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.”