Virgin Australia adds trans-Tasman flights

by James Wilkinson

Virgin Australia has announced a suite of changes to its Trans-Tasman services in the wake of the cessation of its alliance with Air New Zealand, including two new routes and increased frequency into key markets.

From 28 October 2018, Virgin Australia will commence up to five flights per week between Sydney and Wellington, as well as up to four flights per week between Melbourne and Queenstown, becoming the only airline to offer Business Class on the Melbourne-Queenstown route.

Virgin Australia will also make the following schedule changes:
-Auckland-Sydney increased up to triple daily on weekdays and double daily on weekends;
-Auckland-Melbourne increased up to double daily every day; and
-Auckland-Brisbane up to two services per day and up to three on peak days.

At the same time, Virgin Australia will reduce frequency between Christchurch and Melbourne from 11 flights per week to a daily service, and Brisbane-Wellington from up to 14 services per week to nine.

Virgin Australia Airlines Group Executive, Rob Sharp, revealed the changes at Australian Tourism Exchange in Adelaide this week (April 16).

“Virgin Australia is upping its game on the Tasman and we’re delighted to announce two additional routes to our Australia-New Zealand network,” he said.

“As well as increasing frequency on key routes from Auckland, we have also improved the timing of some of our New Zealand flights to better suit the needs of both leisure and business travellers.

“Our entry into the Melbourne-Queenstown market will bring some much-needed competition to the premium leisure sector, with Virgin Australia the only airline to offer Business Class on this route. Virgin Australia also offers other unique products such as Economy X featuring extra legroom and priority benefits.

“While the Brisbane-Wellington and Christchurch-Melbourne routes will have a small reduction in frequency, we remain committed both markets. Virgin Australia also remains the only international airline flying to and from Dunedin.

“We have had a strong presence in New Zealand since 2004, and we look forward to bringing more exciting initiatives to this market very soon,” Sharp said.