Virgin Australia announced upcoming route changes, in line with its focus on disciplined capacity management.
“We maintain a strong network of destinations and it’s important that our schedule continues to reflect demand from our business and leisure customers,” says Paul Scurrah, Virgin Australia's group chief executive and managing director.
The carrier is suspending its Melbourne-Hong Kong service from 11 February 2020 but will retain a daily service to Hong Kong from Sydney. It is also looking to improve onward connections through partners Hong Kong Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
“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,” says Scurrah.
“The Airbus A330 currently operating the Melbourne-Hong Kong services will be re-deployed onto our daily Brisbane-Tokyo Haneda flights commencing in March 2020, where we expect strong demand.”
Cirium’s schedules data shows that Virgin Australia will be the first to fly between Brisbane and Tokyo Haneda when it launches the route on 29 March, though Qantas operates a daily Brisbane-Tokyo Narita service.
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.
Banking in on the popularity of Melbourne-Denpasar route, Virgin Australia plans to relaunch the service from 29 March, pending regulatory approval.
Garuda Indonesia, Jetstar, Malindo Air, and Qantas currently offer the same service, Cirium’s schedules data shows.
Virgin Australia previously operated the Melbourne-Denpasar route between January 2013 to February 2017 with Boeing 737s. During this period, it offered up to 10 flights per week throughout 2014, and as little as four flights per week between April 2015 and March 2016.
Separately, Tigerair Australia plans to remove two A320 aircraft from its fleet by mid-2020, as part of a planned transition to an all-Boeing fleet of 737s.
Cirium’s fleets data shows that Tigerair Australia currently operates 10 A320 aircraft and six 737-800s.