As a further sign that Virgin Blue has reached its limit on its domestic network, it is cutting back several routes into Australia’s Northern Territory.

It is cancelling all flights to Alice Springs and dropping its Sydney-Darwin service in favour of the shorter Darwin flight from Brisbane. Even that is a 4h sector, which can tax the patience of passengers on a low-cost carrier.

Alice Springs has always been a challenge for Virgin Blue. Qantas enjoys higher loads because it uses the Outback airport as a hub for thin routes across the country. Without a comparable network and only one aircraft type, Virgin Blue was never able to match that traffic. Virgin Blue is looking for more profitable offshore options after the collapse of its Macau joint venture plan.

Source: Airline Business