Virgin Australia has cancelled 25% of its flights across its January and February schedule due to the rapid spread of Omicron and major staffing shortages.
Virgin Australia yesterday announced it would be reducing capacity across its network for the remainder of January and February by 25%, in response to reduced travel demand and a shortage of staff being required to isolate due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.
The airline will now be operating a reduced frequency on popular routes and will be temporarily suspending ten routes later this month.
Suspended routes include Adelaide to Darwin, Adelaide to Cairns, Adelaide to the Sunshine Coast, Coffs Harbour to Melbourne, Hamilton Island to Melbourne, Sydney to Townsville, Melbourne to Townsville, Gold Coast to Launceston and Gold Coast to Hobart.
The suspension also includes the airline’s international service from Sydney to Fiji until 10 March, as many staff members are being forced into isolation.
Passengers who have had their flights cancelled have been told they will be re-accommodated.
Flight cancellations begin on January 24, with some set to remain closed until June.
On Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said had sent a plan for reducing isolation requirements for critical supply chain workers to the national cabinet for endorsement, to ensure supermarkets can keep their shelves stocked.
He also said he expected the exemption would be extended to other critical sectors, including aviation, by Thursday.
Virgin Australia Chief Executive Jayne Hrdlicka said “Virgin Australia is dedicated to the communities that we serve and will resume these flights as soon as possible.”
“Although we don’t know when this wave will pass, we do know that as we make the shift to living with Covid-19 there will continue to be changes in all our lives.”
“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to any guest impacted by the changes to our flight schedule during this time.”
Ms Hrdlicka said the company is still continuously “adapting” as circumstances around travel constantly changes.
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