It’s one of Australia’s most ‘liveable’ cities and one of the biggest. It’s located on the east side and surprise, it’s not Sydney. So which city will Virgin Australia use for its first service to Hong Kong?

Melbourne!

The carrier finally revealed details of its expansion into Greater China this morning, and it all starts on 5 July this year with direct Melbourne-Hong Kong flights.

Virgin Australia will operate five return services per week (leaving Melbourne on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday) between the two cities on its A330-200 aircraft.

Passengers flying on the route will have access to the carrier’s award-winning Business Class suites – The Business – as well as 255 Economy seats in a 2-4-2 configuration.

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Virgin Australia Group CEO John Borghetti said entering Hong Kong and Greater China is a “key pillar” in the airline’s international strategy, as it taps into Australia’s fastest growing inbound market.

But why Melbourne and not Sydney?

Top Cities Melbourne

Well, according to Borghetti it’s because Melbourne is “an international city in its own right”, which can offer Chinese visitors the chance to experience Australia’s “biggest and most spectacular events”.

Travellers will be able to secure seats on the new service from tomorrow and will be able to travel onward to 13 destinations in mainland China through Virgin’s proposed alliance with HNA Aviation and Hong Kong Airlines.

What are your thoughts on the news?