With intra-state travel within Queensland continuing unimpeded, Virgin Australia has launched a new service between Brisbane and Hamilton Island commencing 4 August 2020.

The service will utilise a Boeing 737 aircraft and operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Domestic Business Class will be available on flights between Brisbane and Hamilton Island.

VA1497 will depart Brisbane at 12:45pm, with a capacity for 150 passengers.

Fares will start from $155 one-way and will include baggage and seat selection.

Operating three services a week will add a further 4,500 seats per month to the intra-Queensland market.

Virgin Australia Chief Commerical Officer, John MacLeod stated:

Queenslanders are supporting our flights to key Queensland leisure destinations and we’re really pleased to further ramp-up our schedule to include regular services to Hamilton Island

We know that giving travellers great fares to the Whitsundays, coupled with award-winning service, is what will help to recover the Queensland tourism industry while providing more jobs for our people and those who work in the region

Virgin also announced that by mid-September, the airline will look to operate seven intra-Queensland routes between Brisbane and:

  • Hamilton Island;
  • Cairns;
  • Proserpine;
  • Mount Isa;
  • Mackay;
  • Rockhampton; and
  • Townsville.

The update to the launch of flights to Byron Bay (Ballina) is shown below.

Virgin Australia launched Sydney to Byron Bay (Ballina) flights on 7 July 2020, with flight VA1141 departing Sydney at 1:15pm en route to Ballina Byron Airport.

The operating flight’s arrival was celebrated with a traditional water cannon salute, while the crew were delivered famous Ballina Burgers as a ‘welcome back’ gesture.

Virgin Australia launches Sydney to Ballina Flights
New flights between Sydney and Byron Bay (Ballina) launched on 7 July, providing

These flights are in addition to the announcement by Virgin Australia on 2 July 2020 to add an additional 17 domestic routes to 30 local destinations by 4 August 2020 to Newcastle, Hobart, Launceston, Darwin, Alice Springs, Hamilton Island, Maroochydore, Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Proserpine, and Mount Isa.

Virgin Australia Group Chief Commercial Officer, John Macleod, stated

Travel is back on the agenda for many Australians and we’re happy to be able to resume flights to a number of holiday destinations in Queensland, Northern New South Wales and the Northern Territory. As borders begin to re-open, we also want to ensure we have great value flights available for guests to book their next trip.

Update regarding expanded domestic network from 12 June 2020 shown below.

Virgin Australia will increase domestic flying and introduce new safety and wellbeing measures as state travel restrictions begin to ease and more travellers return to the skies.

Current capacity will be doubled by early July, which will add approximately 30,000 seats across 320 flights per week to its domestic schedule.

These will include expanded capital city connections and frequencies between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, as well as the resumption of services between Brisbane-Adelaide, Brisbane-Canberra, Brisbane-Perth and Sydney-Perth. The full domestic schedule can be viewed here.

From 12 June 2020, Virgin Australia will also be implementing a comprehensive new set of safety and wellbeing measures including pre-departure eligibility and health screening, contactless check-in, more frequent cleaning onboard and at the airport, and expanded social distancing measures.

The update to the funding of the minimum domestic network by the Federal Government is shown below.

Virgin Australia will continue to fly an underwritten, minimal domestic schedule, in an extension of an agreement reached with the Australian Government to 30 September 2020, which was initially slated to end of 30 June 2020.

The agreement ensures that passengers, along with important freight routes remain open during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, all international flights that were subsidised by the Federal Government will cease from 9 June 2020, which included those between Brisbane to Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

The original article regarding the minimum domestic network for Virgin Australia is shown below.

Further Details

The schedule commences from Friday 17 April and will run for a period of eight weeks until 7 June 2020. Sales fares will be progressively released from tonight at the Virgin Australia website.

The good news is that some of the previously stood down flight, cabin and ground crew and other operational team members will be reinstated.

Passengers who have cancelled their previous bookings can use their Travel Bank credit when making their booking online. Alternatively, passengers can get their ticket reissued through the Guest Contact Centre by calling 13 67 89.

If you had previously booked through a travel agent, you will need to contact them to explore your options.

The minimal domestic schedule is in addition to the international repatriation flights to Los Angeles and Hong Kong that Virgin Australia is operating at the request of the Australian Government.

Flight Details

From tomorrow (Friday 17 April), Virgin Australia will operate 64 return services each week as per the following schedule:


  • Melbourne / Adelaide (three return services per week)
  • Melbourne / Brisbane (seven return services per week)
  • Melbourne / Canberra (three return services per week)
  • Melbourne / Perth (seven return services per week)
  • Melbourne / Sydney (seven return services per week)


  • Brisbane / Melbourne (seven return services per week)  
  • Brisbane / Sydney (seven return services per week)
  • Brisbane / Cairns (three return services per week)
  • Brisbane / Mackay (five return services per week)
  • Brisbane / Rockhampton (three return services per week)
  • Brisbane / Townsville (three return services per week)


  • Sydney / Melbourne (seven return services per week)
  • Sydney / Brisbane (seven return services per week)
  • Sydney / Gold Coast (three return services per week)


  • Canberra / Melbourne (three return services per week)


  • Adelaide / Melbourne (three return services per week)


  • Perth / Melbourne (seven return services per week)
  • Perth / Broome (three return services per week)
  • Perth / Port Hedland (two return services per week)
  • Perth / Newman (two return services per week)
  • Perth / Karratha (two return services per week)
  • Perth / Kununurra (two return services per week)
  • Perth / Kalgoorlie (two return services per week)

Indicative prices for a one-way Brisbane to Sydney flight on 22 April is shown below for both Economy and Business Class.

Indicative pricing on a BNE-SYD flight on 22 April 2020.

These flights will operate like any Virgin Australia operated service, meaning that passengers will earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Status Credits and Points when they fly.

Can I use Velocity Points to book these flights?

You are also able to redeem Velocity Points for these flights for both Economy and Business Class seats. Be aware though that Economy catering has been severely paired back, however, there are reports are that Business catering continues as normal.

Reward Seats are in plenty of supply in both Economy snd Business Class.

Summing up

It is great to see the Australian Government has reached an agreement with both Virgin Australia and Qantas to ensure that passengers and critical freight routes remain open.

Hopefully, this will not need to be extended and by 7 June, we will be well on our way to getting domestic travel resembling some form of normality.

Virgin Australia resumes services between Brisbane and Hamilton Island was last modified: August 5th, 2020 by Daniel Sciberras