Virgin Australia Group CEO and Managing Director, Paul Scurrah, said the changes to the network was in response to a major review.
The changes include axing Canberra-Perth from 6 December 2019, Gold Coast-Perth from 19 January 2020, Hong Kong-Melbourne from 11 February 2020 and Sydney-Christchurch from 29 April 2020.
While four low-performing routes were axed, two services were added, including an all-new Brisbane to Tokyo Haneda service from 29 March 2020 and the re-entry of the Virgin brand on flights from Melbourne to Denpasar from 29 March 2020.
Scurrah said 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,” he said.
“Some of the 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.
Scurrah said Melbourne-Hong Kong was being dropped because it had “underperformed in line with the political landscape” and it was believed the city was best served from Sydney.
Virgin Australia will retain a daily return service to Hong Kong from Sydney and continue to provide onward connections through their partners Hong Kong Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
“However, excitingly, we have announced our Brisbane to Tokyo route which is a great opportunity,” Scurrah said.
“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.”
Other changes include: Sydney-Tamworth services, which from two daily to six services per week; the addition of four extra flights per week on the Sydney-Port Macquarie route; and reducing Auckland-Sydney flights from up to 19 return services to 14 services per week.
The Virgin Australia Group’s low-cost airline Tigerair Australia will also see a number of changes, including the axing of flights between Brisbane and Darwin from 3 February 2020, Proserpine-Sydney from 3 February 2020 and Adelaide-Brisbane from 29 March 2020, alongside capacity reductions on several existing routes.
Tiger’s flights from Adelaide-Brisbane will be replaced with five additional Virgin Australia services per week.
“We maintain a strong network of destinations and it’s important that our schedule continues to reflect demand from our business and leisure customers,” Scurrah said.
“Some of today’s changes respond to shifting demand on some routes, and others are about refocusing Virgin Australia and Tigerair Australia on the destinations we feel they are best suited.”
Along with the network changes, Scurrah revealed that five aircraft would also be retired in the form of two Tigerair A320s and three Fokker 100s.