Virgin Australia says it will ‘suspend’ flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong in favour of its new Brisbane-Tokyo service, connecting Aussies to one of the most desired destinations right now.

Virgin Australia announced upcoming route changes, in line with its focus on disciplined capacity management.

The airline will axe its daily flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong from 11 February 2020, but will retain a daily service to Hong Kong from Sydney, as part of a broad program to bring the airline back to profitability in the wake of seven straight years of losses adding up to $1.9 billion.

READ: KONNICHIWA! Virgin Australia Will Fly Brisbane-Tokyo From March 2020

 

Swapping China for Japan

Karry On - Virgin Australia

Virgin began flying between Melbourne and Hong Kong in July 2017, with the launch of Sydney-Hong Kong following in July 2018.

The recent months of protests and political unrest in Hong Kong have impacted all airlines flying to the Asian metropolis but exacted a heavy toll on Virgin which is believed to have been facing relatively low patronage on the competitive route.

“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,”

Paul Scurrah, Virgin Australia CEO

But it’s not all doom and gloom, as the Melbourne-Hong Kong service cut will free up the necessary Airbus A330 aircraft required for Virgin’s launch of daily flights between Brisbane and Tokyo in March 2020.

Virgin Australia will operate daily on the route, and says that flights will be timed to offer connecting services between its major Australian and New Zealand points.

Great news, as Japan seems to be at the top of every Aussie’s wishlist right now.

Scurrah remains confident of Asia’s place on the airline’s route map, but sees the pivot to Japan as being more sustainable, especially as it is underpinned by a new partnership with ANA offering codeshare flights and reciprocal points earning and lounge access.

 

Other VA changes in the pipeline

Karry On - Virgin Australia

  • Canberra-Perth flights will cease from 6 December 2019
  • Gold Coast-Perth flights will end on 19 January 2020
  • Sydney-Christchurch flights are being dropped as of 29 April 2020
  • Sydney-Tamworth flights reduced from a double-daily frequency to six services per week
  • Auckland-Sydney flights reduced “from up to 19 return services to 14 services per week”

Banking in on the popularity of the Melbourne-Denpasar route, Virgin Australia also plans to relaunch the service from 29 March, pending regulatory approval.

“Flying to the right destinations, with the right customer demand, and the right sized fleet will improve our financial performance,”

Paul Scurrah, Virgin Australia CEO

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