21 March 2023 | Network

Talofa! Virgin Australia celebrates return to Apia with Samoan crew, drops 72hr Samoa Sale

  • Virgin Australia is resuming flights to Samoa today, with up to two flights a week between Sydney-Apia and Brisbane-Apia.
  • To mark the occasion, a Samoan crew is flying the first flight from Sydney to Apia this evening.
  • Virgin Australia has also launched a ‘72hr Samoa’ sale, with return airfares available from $549 (Economy Lite).
  • It comes on the last day of Velocity Frequent Flyer’s 4,000 Bonus Points offer for eligible flights booked on the Virgin Australia international network.

Tuesday 21 March 2023: Guests on Virgin Australia’s first flight to Samoa in three years will receive a friendly welcome home today, with the flight to be operated by a proud Samoan crew.

Sydney-Apia services commence today and Brisbane flights will take off on 23 March – with both routes operating up to two return flights a week on the airline’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The all-Samoan cabin crew and First Officer will warmly greet guests, who will also be treated to a traditional song during the flight and cultural welcome upon landing in Apia.

To celebrate the resumption of services to Samoa, Virgin Australia has launched a 72hr Samoa sale today, with return airfares from $549 (Economy Lite).[1]

Virgin Australia Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Alistair Hartley said the return was welcome news for travellers across the Pacific.

“There is a strong Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market in Samoa which is why we wanted to mark this occasion with a Samoan crew,” he said.

“It’s an exciting step in the rebuilding of our short-haul international network and comes ahead of our return to Vanuatu later this month.

“Samoa is well-known for its rich culture and friendly locals and has been a popular destination in the Virgin Australia network since 2005.”

Samoa Tourism Authority CEO, Pativaine Petaia-Tevita said: “The return of Virgin Australia flights from Australia to Samoa is wonderful news for the nation, boosting collective efforts to rebuild and recover Samoa’s visitor economy.

“With a diverse flight schedule it means more and more travellers will be able to make their way to us to experience Fa`a-Samoa, our beautiful culture and way of life.”

Guests travelling on Samoa services will be able to access strong connectivity to the rest of the Virgin Australia domestic and short-haul international network through Brisbane and Sydney.

Flights from both Brisbane and Sydney will initially depart in the evening, and from 28 March the Sydney flight will move to a daytime departure.

Virgin Australia’s International short-haul network continues to expand following the relaunch of the business in November 2020 and now includes Bali, Queenstown, Nadi, Port Vila and Apia, as well as Tokyo (Haneda) which will commence in June 2023.[2] New short haul international services will see Virgin Australia grow its international capacity by 50 per cent by mid-2024.

Under the Velocity Frequent Flyer Bonus Points offer, guests will receive 2,000 bonus Points each way on Trans-Tasman and international short-haul flights when activated and booked between 10-22 March 2023, for travel before 3 February 2024. More information, here.[3]

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


Virgin Australia Corporate Affairs corporateaffairs@virginaustralia.com or 1800 142 467.

Imagery from the first flight will be available here from 8am AEST 22 March 2023. 


1 Fares are on sale from 12.01am Tuesday 21 March 2023 to 11.59pm Thursday 23 March 2023 AEST, unless sold out prior. Travel periods range from the 2nd of May 2023 to 6th of December 2023 and conditions apply. $549 price point based on a return Economy Lite fare and $629 price point based on a return Economy Choice fare from Brisbane or Sydney to Apia booked at virginaustralia.com Subject to availability. Payment surcharge may apply. Seat selection and checked baggage are not included in Economy Lite fares. Full T&Cs at www.virginaustralia.com.

Bonus Points offer T&Cs

3To be eligible for the Bonus Points promotion you must (1) Activate this offer through the activation link; (2) book an Eligible Flight between 12.01am AEST 10 March 2023 and 11.59pm AEST 22 March 2023 inclusive (Promotion Period); (3) enter a valid Velocity membership number at the time of booking and ticketing and (4) travel by 3 February 2024. An Eligible Flight is any Trans-Tasman or International short-haul flight marketed and operated by Virgin Australia, which are flights on which Points can be earned and booked and ticketed in a fare class that normally accrues Points. Codeshare services marketed or operated by partner airlines are not eligible for this offer. Any Virgin Australia flight which is combined in the same booking as a Partner Airline operated flight will not be eligible for this promotion. Points cannot be earned on Velocity Reward Seat bookings. Bonus Points are earned at a flat rate of 2,000 Points per one-way journey. A flight booking with a connection would be considered a one-way journey and 2,000 bonus Points would be allocated for this flight. Bonus Points are earned in addition to the standard Points earn for a flight. This Velocity Points offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other Velocity offer or promotion. You should allow up to 4 weeks after the travel period for the bonus Velocity Points to be allocated. To earn and redeem Velocity Points you must be a Velocity Frequent Flyer member. Velocity membership and Points earn is subject to the Velocity membership Terms and Conditions, as amended from time to time.

[1] 72hr Samoa sale runs from 21-23 March, Ts&Cs apply.

[2] Subject to regulatory approval.

[3] Offer must be activated by 22 March 2023.