Virgin celebrates rebirth with 500,000 sale fares from $75

by AirlineRatings editors
November 13, 2020
Photo: Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia is releasing 500,000 fares from $75 one-way and launching a new travel campaign to celebrate its move out of voluntary administration.

The travel campaign, titled You can’t Keep a Good Thing Down, sees 12-year-old Melbourne schoolgirl Annie Jones dancing through a terminal to the INXS track “What You Need”.

The airline says it aims to convey the excitement of returning to the airport to go on a family holiday. Jones gained fame as a finalist on 2020’s  America’s Got Talent.

It the airline’s first major marketing campaign since the COVID-19 crisis plunged it into administration in April.

READ: More signs of aviation life as Qantas plans lounge reopenings.

“As state and territory borders safely re-open and more Australians consider traveling, we wanted to show our guests how they’ll feel to finally enter the airport again to go on that holiday they’ve been dreaming of, to conduct business or to reunite with family and friends, and this campaign certainly captures that,” said Virgin general manager brand and marketing Michael Nearhos.

You Can’t Keep A Good Thing Down has two meanings – it’s not only a nod to Virgin Australia looking to the future but it’s also about giving travelers confidence that, after a period of uncertainty, the Virgin Australia they know and love is up there flying again, and here to stay.”

See the video here.

Virgin says the campaign is the result of extensive market research throughout the COVID-19 pandemic focusing on airline travel and consumer confidence.

“The research found 50 percent of travelers are thinking about their next trip in the lead up to Christmas, and therefore the campaign aims to grow confidence in the market and stimulate demand,” the airline said.

“As capacity increases and more aircraft return to the sky, Virgin Australia looks forward to welcoming many stood down team members back to work.”

Sale fares include Sydney-Byron bay from $75, Melbourne-Sydney from $99, Perth-Melbourne from $169, Hobart- Melbourne from $99 Melbourne-Launceston from $79, Brisbane-Newcastle from $89 and Adelaide-Sydney from $119.

See a more extensive list of fares here.

The fares are on sale until November 20, unless sold out, for select travel dates and destinations between December 1 and June 23, 2021, including key dates around the New Year holiday period.

Virgin is also providing travelers with unlimited booking changes on travel between now and January 31, 2021.

A short order posted November 10 by Federal Court Judge John Middleton granted an application by administrators Deloitte to complete the transfer of shares to new owner Bain Capital, despite objections by two shareholders.

Bain’s takeover of Virgin will see a change in chief executive from incumbent Paul Scurrah to former Jetstar boss Jayne Hrdlicka as the airline continues to restructure and reduce costs.

The carrier has been adding routes and frequencies as domestic border restrictions ease and predicted recently that it would be flying 45 Boeing 737s by December with the aim of eventually boosting its fleet to 75.

Recent additions include expanded options to destinations such Ballina-Byron, Hamilton Island and Adelaide as well as increased frequencies between Brisbane and Adelaide.

Potential stormclouds include new capital city jet services from Regional Express. Rex has leased six aircraft to service the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane “golden triangle’ but says it could expand to 30 to 40 planes servicing all capital cities if things go well.

Meanwhile, two Virgin unions – the Transport Workers Union and pilots association VIPA – are looking at amalgamating.

VIPA president John Lyons said an amalgamation would bring workers together to fight for Virgin’s future.

“The TWU and VIPA have clear common interests and it makes sense to stand together formally to push for Virgin’s future,” Lyons said.

“We have stood together during the administration process and in holding the new owners to account. We have jointly made the case to the Federal Government that they need to do more to support Virgin and the rest of the aviation industry.”