Virgin Australia Group has disclosed plans to grow its domestic network, which entails adding 700 weekly flights by October through new services and adding capacity on key routes.

“Growing confidence in the community, thanks to the vaccination rollout and domestic borders staying largely open, means the time is right for us to bring back jobs and put more aircraft in the skies,” chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka says in a 20 May statement.

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The group is looking at a 38% increase in trans-Tasman flights, with plans to add 50 weekly flights to Launceston and Hobart.

Frequency of its Sydney-Brisbane-Melbourne service will go up to 100 daily flights on average, a 30% increase from current levels, to support corporate and small-to-medium-sized business travel.

Flights to Queensland destinations will increase by 40%, and these include Brisbane, the Whitsunday Coast, Hamilton Island, Cairns, Townsville, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

Virgin Australia will also launch five new direct services commencing 14 July-17 August. These are Cairns-Perth, Sydney-Townsville, Adelaide-Cairns, and Melbourne-Townsville, up to four weekly flights, as well as a seasonal Sydney-Darwin service operated daily.

To support these plans, the group has committed to add at least 250 new jobs in coming months, including pilots, baggage handlers, specialist IT and technical services positions.

For initial applications of these roles, the company states that current and former Virgin Australia employee groups will be given priority over external candidates.

The latest workforce expansion is over and above the 370 cabin crew roles Virgin Australia is adding. It disclosed on 15 April that it expects over 220 cabin crew from its discontinued operations to return to work and was conducting a recruitment drive to add another 150.

Virgin Australia says in today’s statement: “The new roles help to kickstart a significant pipeline of investment in new aircraft, new crew and technology to deliver an enhanced experience for customers.”