6 November 2019 | Operations

Virgin Australia Group Announces Fleet & Network Changes & Capacity Reduction

The Virgin Australia Group (the Group) today announced a number of changes to its fleet and network in response to a review, which will deliver at least a two per cent reduction in domestic capacity in the second half of the 2020 financial year compared to the same period last year.

Virgin Australia Group CEO and Managing Director Paul Scurrah said today’s changes highlight the Group’s focus on disciplined capacity management and putting the right product on the right route.

“We maintain a strong network of destinations and it’s important that our schedule continues to reflect demand from our business and leisure customers. Some of today’s changes respond to shifting demand on some routes, and others are about refocussing Virgin Australia and Tigerair Australia on the destinations we feel they are best suited,” he said.

Virgin Australia will make several changes to its domestic and international network, including the suspension of Melbourne-Hong Kong from 11 February 2020. The Group will retain a daily service to Hong Kong from Sydney and continue to improve our onward connections through its partners Hong Kong Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

Mr Scurrah said: “Demand for the Hong Kong route has declined in line with the political landscape and we feel this is now best serviced through a single daily Sydney-Hong Kong service.

“The Airbus A330 currently operating the Melbourne-Hong Kong services will be re-deployed onto our daily Brisbane-Haneda flights commencing in March 2020, where we expect strong demand,” he said.

Virgin Australia network and fleet changes

Virgin Australia will commence services between Brisbane and Tokyo (Haneda), Japan, from 29 March 2020. Haneda flights are timed to offer connecting services between our major Australian and New Zealand points. Virgin Australia will also re-enter the popular Melbourne-Denpasar route from 29 March 20201.

Virgin Australia will exit the following domestic and international routes:

✈ Canberra-Perth from 6 December 2019
✈ Gold Coast-Perth from 19 January 2020
✈ Hong Kong-Melbourne from 11 February 2020
✈ Sydney-Christchurch from 29 April 2020

Virgin Australia will enter the following international routes:

✈ Brisbane-Haneda from 29 March 2020
✈ Melbourne-Denpasar from 29 March 2020

Virgin Australia will also make the following additional schedule changes:

✈ Adjust the carrier’s regional schedule operated by its ATR aircraft by:

  • reducing Sydney-Tamworth from double daily to six services per week;
  • adding four additional frequencies per week on Sydney-Port Macquarie.

✈ Reduce Auckland-Sydney frequencies from up to 19 return services to 14 services per week
✈ Replace Tigerair’s Adelaide-Brisbane flights with five additional services per week.

Following a review of Virgin Australia’s regional airline fleet strategy, three of its Fokker 100 (F100) aircraft will also be retired from the fleet by March 2020.

Tigerair Australia network and fleet changes

Tigerair Australia will increase its focus on the domestic leisure market, whilst retaining a competitive proposition on the triangle. Tigerair Australia will also continue to be focussed on transitioning to a single fleet type of Boeing 737s and will reduce its fleet by two aircraft with the removal of two Airbus A320 aircraft by mid-2020.

Tigerair Australia will exit the following domestic routes in addition to capacity reductions on existing routes:

✈ Brisbane-Darwin from 3 February 2020
✈ Proserpine-Sydney from 3 February 2020
✈ Adelaide-Brisbane from 29 March 2020