Category Archives: Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia suspends all international flying, grounds 53 aircraft

Virgin Australia has made this announcement:

  • Suspension of all international flying from March 30 to June 14, 2020
  • Group domestic capacity reduction of 50 percent until June 14, 2020
  • Temporary grounding of the equivalent of 53 aircraft from the Group’s fleet
  • Dedicated customer care hub for impacted guests at virginaustralia.com

The Virgin Australia Group has today announced a temporary suspension of international services and further cuts to domestic capacity in response to expanded government travel restrictions and increased impacts from COVID-19 on travel demand.

As a leading airline group, Virgin Australia will work closely with Government to prioritise bringing Australians home and returning visitors back to their point of origin safely, while maintaining its important role in supporting connectivity and the nation’s economy.

CEO Commentary

Virgin Australia CEO and Managing Director Paul Scurrah said, “We have entered an unprecedented time in the global aviation industry, which has required us to take significant action to responsibly manage our business while balancing traveller demands and supporting the wellbeing of Australians.

“We have responded by making tough decisions which include reducing our domestic capacity and phasing in the temporary suspension of international flying for a period of two and a half months.

International changes

The Group will suspend all international flying for a period of two and a half months in response to the new travel restrictions announced by Government. This includes the grounding of five Boeing 777, one Airbus A330 and fourteen Boeing 737 aircraft from the Group’s international fleet.

The changes include:

  • Temporary suspension of all international services from 30 March to 14 June 2020 inclusive.
  • Melbourne to Los Angeles services suspended from 20 March.
  • Inaugural Brisbane to Haneda service, postponed from 29 March.
  • Inaugural Melbourne to Denpasar service, postponed from 29 March.

Virgin Australia will operate a reduced international schedule between now and March 29, 2020 to enable Australians to return home and visitors to return to their point of origin.

Domestic changes

In response to weakened demand, the Group will reduce domestic capacity by around 50 percent until June 14, 2020. This includes the grounding of twenty Boeing 737, six A320, two ATR and five Airbus A330 aircraft from the Group’s domestic fleet.

The route and schedule detail of these changes across Virgin Australia and Tigerair Australia is currently being worked through and will be published over the next week.

Impact on our people

The temporary grounding of the international fleet and reduction in domestic capacity will impact the company’s workforce and the Group is working constructively with our team members and their unions.

The Group is undertaking a range of measures to address the current situation including the use of accrued annual leave, leave without pay, redeployment and, in some circumstances, redundancies.

These are in addition to measures we’ve already announced, including the temporary reduction in Chairman and Board of Director fees by 15 per cent, removal of management bonuses, no base salary increases for non-EA team members and additional leave measures.

Support for guests

Virgin Australia is offering flexible booking options for impacted guests and those who wish to change their travel due to COVID-19. Virgin Australia has also set up a dedicated customer care hub on our website to deal with the surge of customer queries and travel changes.

  • Guests with new or existing domestic and international bookings through to 30 June 2020 have the option to change their flight to a later date, and/or a different destination, without incurring a change fee. Guests who no longer wish to travel can cancel their flight and retain the value of the booking as a travel credit.
  • Guests affected by the suspension will be contacted regarding their booking. Guests who have booked an international flight between 30 March and 14 June will be contacted by Virgin Australia within the next 14 days via email.
  • Travel agents will make direct contact with guests who have booked through them.

Guests are advised that due to the large number of schedule changes they should not contact the airline unless they are travelling in the next 24 hours or need immediate assistance to return home or to their point of origin.

Virgin Australia aircraft photo gallery:

Virgin Australia unveils plans for a comprehensive redevelopment of its domestic terminal at Melbourne Airport

 

Virgin Australia on December 4, 2017 unveiled plans for a comprehensive redevelopment of its domestic terminal at Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 3 (‘T3’) over the next three years.

As seen in concept designs released today, Virgin Australia guests travelling through Melbourne will enjoy a significantly enhanced and streamlined experience from arrival at the airport to taking off from the tarmac.

By mid-2019, the redeveloped domestic terminal will offer an automated check-in process in the T3 check-in hall for Virgin Australia guests, including:

  • Automated bag drop facilities;
  • Enhanced self-service kiosks, which will enable guests to check-in, print boarding passes, add bags and print baggage tags;
  • Service pods where Virgin Australia ground crew can assist guests with check-in; and
  • A service desk to assist with traditional check-in and general enquires.

The introduction of these automated check-in features will significantly reduce the time taken to check-in and check luggage.

 

Once construction has been completed, T3 will also feature:

  • A dedicated Premium Entry for Virgin Australia’s Business Class guests and Platinum and Gold Velocity Frequent Flyers, including dedicated check-in, bag drop and security screening features and direct access to the Virgin Australia Lounge;
  • Construction of a new internal ramp between Terminals 3 and 4 that will enable the repositioning of the general T3 security screening facilities. This will reduce passenger congestion in T3, create a more spacious area for T3 security screening and offer better access to the new retail offering in Terminal 4;
  • Virgin Australia Lounge guests will enjoy a seamless transition to their gates, with all of T3’s repositioned security screening facilities to be located before the Lounge entry; and
  • The addition of two baggage carousels in the T3 arrivals hall.

The unveiling of these concept designs follows the domestic terminal agreement that was signed in Junebetween Virgin Australia and Melbourne Airport, which included key commercial terms to support the redevelopment of T3.

Virgin Australia and Melbourne Airport are working together to finalise the design process, with the works anticipated to begin in 2018.

The Group Executive for Virgin Australia Airlines, Rob Sharp, said the proposed upgrades were a part of Virgin Australia’s commitment to creating the world’s most rewarding travel experience.

“The airport experience is an important part of our guest’s overall travel experience. Virgin Australia runs a major operation at Melbourne Airport, operating up to 100 return flights each day. The redeveloped terminal will see Virgin Australia provide guests with a world class experience on the ground, to match the unrivalled service we provide on-board” said Mr Sharp.

“We were the first airline in Australia to introduce the kerbside Premium Entry product at Sydney Airport and we are thrilled to be able to offer this to our customers travelling through Melbourne,” he said.

 

Melbourne Airport CEO, Lyell Strambi, has also welcomed the proposed redevelopment plans, saying it is a boost for the city of Melbourne.

“Around two thirds of all passengers travelling through Melbourne Airport are flying on a domestic service, so we welcome Virgin Australia’s vision for the traveller experience and commitment to Melbourne. We are excited to continue working closely with Virgin Australia to bring this wonderful vision to life,” he said.

The refurbished T3 Terminal will also be instrumental in supporting the city on the whole, with current projections predicting that Melbourne will overtake Sydney as Australia’s largest city as early as 2029.

In other news, Virgin Australia issued this statement concerning volcanic activity at Mount Agung in Bali:

We continue to closely monitor the volcanic activity at Mt Agung in Denpasar. As flying conditions have improved, our team of safety experts have declared it safe to continue operations. Therefore, Virgin Australia plans to operate today’s scheduled services from Denpasar.

For full details, please visit our Travel Alerts page: virg.in/travelalerts

Subject to conditions remaining favorable, Virgin Australia plans to resume normal operations between Australia and Denpasar from tomorrow, Tuesday December 5, 2017.

Today’s flights (Monday, December 4) from Australia to Denpasar remain cancelled, however guests booked to travel to Denpasar from Australia on Tuesday December 5, 2017 should proceed to the airport tomorrow, unless otherwise advised. As this situation remains unpredictable flights may be cancelled at short notice if conditions deteriorate.

Video:

Images: Virgin Australia and Wood Bagot.

Virgin Australia to operate a new route from Sydney to Tamworth

Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) has announced it will introduce flights between Tamworth, New South Wales and Sydney from May 2015.

The airline will introduce this new service on May 25, 2015, using its ATR 72 turboprop 68-seat aircraft to operate six return services between Tamworth and Sydney each week.

Virgin Australia will operate a return flight every day (excluding Saturday) departing Sydney at 1.55 pm (1355) arriving into Tamworth at 3.00 pm (1500). The flight will depart Tamworth at 3.30 pm (1530) arriving into Sydney at 4.35 pm (1635).

Copyright Photo: Peter Gates/AirlinersGallery.com. Skywest Airlines ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) VH-FVI (msn 955) prepares to depart from Brisbane.

Virgin Australia aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Virgin Australia domestic route map:

Virgin Australia logo-2

Virgin Australia 3.2015 Domestic Route Map

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Virgin Australia introduces its new Boeing 737 Business Class to New Zealand, announces a half year financial turnaround

Virgin Australia Airlines’ (Brisbane) announced its Business Class began flying across the Tasman Sea on February 28, as part of a progressive rollout in the New Zealand and Pacific Island markets.

The inaugural return flight operated from Auckland to Sydney and signifies an enhancement to the airline’s premium service offering on trans-Tasman and Pacific Island routes. All other services come into effect on March 31, 2015.

Virgin Australia 737-800 Business Class 1 (VA)(LRW)

A progressive refit on 10 of the airline’s Boeing 737 fleet is currently underway, reconfiguring the aircraft with the 2-2 business class configuration, which feature luxury leather seating and menus designed by resident head chef Luke Mangan, as well as the introduction of priority services including check-in and boarding.

Virgin Australia 737-800 Business Class 2 (VA)(LRW)

Virgin Australia Business Class features include:

Luxury leather seating with 38” seat pitch on the Boeing 737 (above)
Comfort packs with luxurious blankets, pillows, and International-style amenity kits including Australian organic cosmetics by GROWN for flights over three hours
Newspapers until noon daily
Exclusive Luke Mangan gourmet full service dining experience
Premium Australian wines, beers, and spirit selection
Gourmet tea selection from Madame Flavour
Priority baggage service where available

On the financial side, the company issued its half year results ending on December 31, 2014. CEO John Borghetti announced a significant improvement with an underlying profit before tax of A$10.2 million, an improvement on a loss of A$45.4 million in the first half of 2014.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Colin Hunter/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin Australia Airlines Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBB (msn 33797) taxies at Auckland, New Zealand.

Virgin Australia aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Video from Virgin Australia: The repainting of the last Virgin Blue aircraft

Who remembers our red aircraft? We’ve just completed the repainting of our fleet in our current white and red livery. Watch the 11 day process of repainting a Virgin Australia aircraft here, in two minutes!

Virgin Australia proposes to buy the remaining 40% shares of Tigerair Australia for one dollar

Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (Virgin Australia) (Brisbane) issued this proposal today.

Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (Virgin Australia) today (October 17) announced a transaction which would see Virgin Australia acquire the remaining 40 percent of shares in Tiger Australia Airways Pty Ltd (Tigerair Australia) from Tiger Airways Holdings Limited (Tiger Holdings) for a price of A$1.

The transaction, once completed, will see Virgin Australia secure 100 per cent ownership and full control of Tigerair Australia and brings to a conclusion the joint venture between Virgin Australia and Tiger Holdings which commenced on July 8, 2013.

As part of the proposed acquisition, Virgin Australia will secure the brand rights to fly Tigerair Australia to a number of short-haul international destinations, providing new growth opportunities for the business.

Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer, John Borghetti said: “This proposed transaction marks an important milestone for Tigerair Australia and forms part of the Virgin Australia Group’s Virgin Vision strategy to 2017.

“Given the ongoing subdued consumer demand in the Australian domestic market, the growth of the Tigerair Australia domestic fleet is likely to be reduced. Under this proposed transaction, we will benefit from the economies of scale and achieve profitability ahead of schedule by the end of 2016, by leveraging the resources of the wider Virgin Australia Group.

“Tiger Holdings and Virgin Australia have worked well together over the past 14 months on building a strong operating platform for Tigerair Australia. The joint venture has strengthened systems and processes, increased aircraft utilisation, established a Brisbane base and leveraged synergies across a range of areas.

“We remain committed to maintaining the airline’s low cost business model and the separate Tigerair brand, ensuring that we can continue to deliver the most competitive pricing in Australian budget travel”, Mr Borghetti said.

The partnership between Virgin Australia and Tiger Holdings will continue into the future through brand licencing and certain services which will continue to be provided by Tiger Holdings direct to Tiger Australia.

The transaction is also subject to conditions precedent, including Foreign Investment Review Board approval, Tiger Holdings shareholder approval and entering into long-form licensing agreements, services agreements and other ancillary transaction documents. It is expected that Virgin Australia will consolidate Tigerair Australia’s financial results going forward as result of the transaction.

Virgin Australia anticipates that completion will occur by the end of 2014 and will keep the market updated on the timing of completion of the transaction.

Copyright Photo: Jacques Guillem Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin Australia will retain the Tigerair brand but the Airbus A320 fleet clashes with Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737s and the pictured Embraer 190s.

Virgin Australia Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Tigerair Australia Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

 

Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines to expand the codeshare agreement to three new destinations

Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) and Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) have announced they will be expanding their partnership in North America, adding three new destinations as part of their codeshare agreement.

Customers of both airlines will now be able to fly from Australia to Nashville, Kansas City and Raleigh/Durham as part of the alliance’s continued commitment to strengthening its footprint in the US market.

The growing alliance between the two airlines, which was launched in 2011, now offers Australians access to over 245 destinations across North and Central America.

Flights between Los Angeles and Nashville will operate daily, Los Angeles to Kansas City services will operate twice a day and 10 flights per week will be available on the Los Angeles to Raleigh/Durham route.

Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines fly from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane into Los Angeles allowing customers to connect onto Delta Air Lines’ extensive North and Central American network.

In other news, Virgin Australia also announced that for the first time it is offering a codeshare flight with South Africa’s largest carrier, South African Airways.

Virgin Australia will commence codeshare on South African Airways’ daily nonstop services from Perth to Johannesburg. This follows the launch of South African Airways’ codeshare on Virgin Australia’s daily services from Perth to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney earlier this year.

South African Airways operates daily nonstop services between Johannesburg and Perth with Airbus A340-300s and Airbus A340-600s.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3ZG ER VH-VOZ (msn 35302) arrives in  Los Angeles.

Virgin Australia: AG Slide Show

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show