• Resumption of interstate services between Melbourne-Gold Coast and Melbourne-Sunshine Coast from 30 November and Melbourne-Cairns from 14 December
• Expanded frequencies between Melbourne-Brisbane
• More than 38,000 seats between Victoria and Queensland by Christmas
• Virgin Australia becomes the first Australian airline to offer COVID-19 booking flexibility until 31 March 2021
WEDNESDAY 25 November 2020: Virgin Australia will offer travellers thousands of seats between Melbourne and the Sunshine State ahead of Christmas, following the Queensland Government’s decision to re-open its border to Victoria.
The significant increase in Virgin Australia services between the two states will predominantly be on core leisure and capital city routes and will include additional frequencies between Melbourne-Brisbane, while flights between Melbourne-Gold Coast, Melbourne-Sunshine Coast and Melbourne-Cairns will take-off just in time for Christmas, for the first time since late March.
Virgin Australia General Manager Network and Revenue Management, Russell Shaw said the Queensland Government’s decision to reopen the border with Victoria is a critical step in reconnecting the country.
“The aviation and tourism industries rely on a connected nation and we welcome the Queensland Government’s decision to reopen the state’s borders to Victoria and New South Wales from 1 December,” said Mr Shaw.
“We recognise our role as one of Queensland’s largest employers and so this is also a positive step forward for our people. With more borders open, we can put more aircraft in the sky, which means more work opportunities.
“Victorians should be especially proud of their efforts to manage COVID-19 after many months of lockdown and we look forward to safely welcoming them back onboard as they return to Queensland to do business or to reunite with family and friends.
“We are already seeing a significant increase in traffic to our website and bookings between the two states, so we’ll be resuming direct services from Melbourne to popular leisure destinations such as the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Cairns.
“We know many Australians are excited to reunite with their loved ones and we remain hopeful that borders will continue to safely re-open in time for Christmas.
“We’re also proud of the commitment to our customers through our Passenger Promise and so we’ll be the first Australian airline to offer booking flexibility until 31 March 2021 should a customer’s travel plans be impacted by COVID-19, which will instil confidence in Australians that they can book with peace of mind,” he said.
Virgin Australia and Tourism and Events Queensland are working together on a number of marketing initiatives designed to kick-start the tourism industry and show that Queensland is ready to welcome more travellers to the Sunshine State.
“The initiatives will highlight the many wonderful things Queensland has to offer visitors alongside the award-winning service and benefits of travelling with Virgin Australia,” said Mr Shaw.
For added confidence, Virgin Australia is waiving applicable change fees and providing customers with unlimited booking changes for reservations with travel between now and 31 January 2021. The airline will further extend booking flexibility until 31 March 2021 should a customer’s travel plans be impacted by COVID-19. More information on the airline’s Passenger Promise, including health and wellbeing initiatives to help protect customers from risks associated with COVID-19, can be found here.
EXPANDED FREQUENCIES AND SERVICES RESUMED:
• Melbourne-Brisbane (Two services per day from 01 December, increasing to five services per day by Christmas)
• Melbourne-Gold Coast (Three services per week from 01 December, increasing to two services per day by Christmas)
• Melbourne-Sunshine Coast (Three services per week from 01 December, increasing to daily services by Christmas)
• Melbourne-Cairns (Five services per week from 14 December, increasing to daily services by Christmas)
For more information about the Virgin Australia Passenger Promise and to book visit virginaustralia.com
NOTES TO EDITOR
Virgin Australia continues to see pent-up demand following the Queensland Government’s decision to reopen its borders to Victoria and New South Wales.
As of today:
• Thousands of Queensland seats have been booked since yesterday, being the single largest day of sales for the airline since before COVID-19.
• More than 60% of flights booked were for travel in the lead up to and during Christmas.
• Flight searches for routes between New South Wales and Queensland more than doubled.
• The top five flight routes were (both ways):
o Gold Coast-Sydney
o Melbourne-Gold Coast
• Traffic to virginaustralia.com for the hour immediately following the announcement that Queensland will open the state’s borders to New South Wales was the highest in 12-months.
Introductory fares (including baggage, seat selection and Velocity Frequent Flyer points):
• Melbourne-Gold Coast from $155
• Melbourne-Maroochydore (Sunshine Coast) from $175
• Melbourne-Brisbane from $199
• Melbourne-Cairns from $239