Virgin Australia today announced a suite of changes to its Trans-Tasman services, including two new routes and increased frequency into key markets.
This comes following last week’s news the airline’s strategic partnership with Air New Zealand had come to an end.
The changes will take effect at the beginning of the Northern Winter flying season on 28 October 2018.
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;
Auckland-Brisbane up to two services per day and up to three on peak days.
From 28 October 2018, 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 is upping its game on the Tasman and we’re delighted to announce two additional routes to our Australia-New Zealand network,” Virgin Australia Airlines Group Executive Rob Sharp 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.
Virgin Australia will operate a modern fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft on Sydney-Wellington and Melbourne-Queenstown, featuring:
Eight leather Business Class seats in a 2-2 configuration;
Business Class food and beverage menus designed by resident chef Luke Mangan;
Virgin Australia Entertainment streamed to passengers’ own devices;
Amenity kits featuring Hunter Lab products exclusive to Virgin Australia ;
Economy X, which offers up to 40 per cent more legroom, preferred overhead locker space and priority boarding.
Flights will be available for sale on Thursday 19 April 2018 here.