2 November 2022 | Network

Kia Ora! Virgin Australia returns to Queenstown

  • Virgin Australia has today resumed flights to Queenstown, New Zealand. 
  • To celebrate, Virgin Australia has launched the Return to Queenstown Sale with 15,000 Economy fares from $409 return*. Seats are on sale now at virginaustralia.com until midnight AEST this Sunday 6 November 2022.
  • Virgin Australia will operate daily return services to Queenstown from Sydney and Brisbane, with four weekly return services from Melbourne commencing tomorrow.
  • Guests travelling on today’s resumption flight from Brisbane were treated to pre-departure ‘Peace Pavlovas’ signalling a peace offering in the age-old debate between the friendly rival countries.

Virgin Australia is today touching down on New Zealand soil for the first time in nearly 1,000 days, with a huge celebration to mark the airline’s resumed Queenstown flights.

The flights from Brisbane and Sydney will arrive at Queenstown International Airport, creating a new gateway of travel between Australia and New Zealand, ready for adventure seekers and returning friends and family, ahead of the summer holiday season.

To mark the occasion, Virgin Australia has launched 15,000 sale fares from $409 Economy return* in a mammoth five-day sale, offering great value for Australians and New Zealanders wishing to fly across The Ditch. The ‘Return to Queenstown’ sale fares can be booked now at virginaustralia.com until midnight AEST this Sunday 6 November 2022.

Excited guests on the first flight from Brisbane today were surprised with mini ‘Peace Pavlovas’ ahead of departure – a not-so-subtle nod to the ongoing friendly rift between the countries on the dessert’s origin.

Virgin Australia direct Queenstown, New Zealand flight schedule:

  • Sydney: Daily return flights between Sydney and Queenstown from 2 November 2022.
  • Brisbane: Daily return flights between Brisbane and Queenstown from 2 November 2022.
  • Melbourne: Return fights between Melbourne and Queenstown four times weekly from 3 November 2022, increasing to daily during the peak Christmas holiday period (12 December 2022 – 29 January 2023).


Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said today’s announcement marks an exciting day for Virgin Australia and its guests as the airline’s network expansion continues.

“Today is a significant day for Virgin Australia with our first New Zealand flight in over two years,” said Ms Hrdlicka.

“Australians and New Zealanders have a close bond and we are proud to be creating a new gateway between the countries for friends and family to visit each other, businesses to flourish and holiday-makers to seek adventure with more choice and great value airfares.

“To celebrate this wonderful milestone, we have launched 15,000 Economy sale fares from as low as $409 return until midnight this Sunday, and we encourage everyone thinking about visiting Queenstown to get in quick before the sale ends.

“Value, choice and great service are at the heart of Virgin Australia, and we look forward to bringing these values to Queenstown with our expanded network.

“We are proud to continue growing the Virgin Australia international network which now offers over 500 destinations around the world.  We have the most exceptional international airline partners and they help us deliver the very best and most easily reached global destinations,” she said.

Virgin Australia Group Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Alistair Hartley said the demand for Virgin Australia Queenstown services is strong.

“Travellers have missed the wonderful Virgin Australia hospitality and we are thrilled to be welcoming them back onboard with more choice and great value when flying to Queenstown,” said Mr Hartley.

“We are seeing strong demand across our international network over the Christmas school holiday period. Our flights to Queenstown will increase to 21 per week between 12 December and 29 January, with a daily service operating from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, to help meet the demand.

“We are excited to be back on the arrivals board in Queenstown and we look forward to providing travellers more choice,” he said.

The resumption of Virgin Australia Queenstown services follows the launch of the airline’s Bring on Wonderful campaign and Middle Seat Lottery for domestic services, which has received global attention since being announced last week.

Virgin Australia has continued to expand its international network over recent months, with the recommencement of services to Bali (including the announcement of a new direct services from the Gold Coast), Fiji and New Zealand, and the announcement of direct services to Vanuatu and Samoa. Strategic airline partnerships with Qatar Airways and United Airlines have been added to existing strong partnerships with Singapore Airlines, ANA, and Hawaiian Airlines. Virgin Australia guests are now connected to more than 500 destinations around the world via Virgin Australia and its airline partners. 

For more information and to book, visit: virginaustralia.com.

DOWNLOAD Virgin Australia overlay vision

DOWNLOAD images of Virgin Australia aircraft landing at Queenstown International Airport (available at 5.00pm NZDT)



Return to Queenstown sale

*Sale ends midnight AEST 6 November 2022 unless sold out prior for selected return International flights to Queenstown on selected travel dates in 2023 for Economy Lite and Choice fares only. Travel periods apply and fares are subject to availability. Seats are limited and may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Payment surcharge may apply. Seat selection and checked baggage are not included in Economy Lite fares. Economy Lite fares are not recommended if you require flexibility with your travel as cancellations are not permitted and you may need to pay a fee and any fare difference to make a change. For other fare types, a fee and fare difference may be payable for changing or cancelling your booking. See Virgin Australia’s domestic Fees page for details. Refunds are not permitted for Economy Lite and Choice fares if you cancel your booking. Refunds are permitted for Economy Flex fares on payment of a fee. You may also request a refund for other reasons, including under the Australian Consumer Law. Check your fare rules for more information. Some flights may be operated by a partner airline. Full terms and conditions at www.virginaustralia.com.

About Virgin Australia:

Founded in the Year 2000 by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Australia is now one of the largest Australian airlines operating an extensive domestic network as well as short-haul international services, charter and cargo operations, and the award-winning loyalty program, Velocity Frequent Flyer. The Group employs more than 6,000 people and has been a competitor in the Australian aviation landscape for 22 years.   


Virgin Australia boasts more than 10.9 million Velocity members who can use their Points to redeem flights to over 500 destinations around the world through Virgin Australia and the airline’s extensive list of international partner carriers.


Virgin Australia is incredibly focused on providing great travel experiences, optionality to fly the way you want to, and value through competitive airfare pricing. Three seating choices are offered when flying Virgin Australia international and domestic services; Business Class, Economy X (extra leg room Economy) and Economy.  


Since November 2020, Virgin Australia has announced it will increase its Boeing 737 fleet by more than 60 per cent, from 58 to 92 aircraft, including the addition of more fuel-efficient Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 10 aircraft in 2023.  


Virgin Australia has won several awards over the years including Best Cabin Crew and top 10 airline finalist in the 2022 AirlineRatings.com Excellence Awards. In the same awards in 2019, Virgin Australia again won Best Cabin Crew as well as Best Economy Class cabin. The same year saw Virgin Australia win Best Domestic Airline at the Australian Federation of Travel Agents National Travel Industry Awards and Velocity Frequent Flyer scooped a wealth of prestigious gongs at the Freddie Awards including Best Program of the Year, Best Customer Service and Best Redemption Ability for the Asia/Middle East and Oceania Airline category. 


Marking a new chapter in its 22-year history, Virgin Australia recently launched a new era in flying with Bring on Wonderful and the Middle Seat Lottery (domestic services only), following a mammoth two-year business transformation which returns the airline to profitability. The brand and advertising campaign creates a platform for Virgin Australia to reimagine the airline travel experience, while celebrating its extraordinary team members.