Australia’s second-largest carrier has embarked on a number of network and fleet changes by cutting a number of domestic and international routes in an effort to return to profitability after seven straight years of losses.

Virgin Australia Group CEO and Managing Director Paul Scurrah said:

…[these] changes highlight the Group’s focus on disciplined capacity management and putting the right product on the right route.

Virgin Australia latest route cancellations & reductions

Melbourne – Hong Kong flight axed

This route was started in July 2017, but due to Hong Kong’s ‘political landscape’, will be suspended from 11 February 2020.

Virgin Australia A330 Business Class inflight entertainment screen
The airline will be cutting this flight less than three years after its launch

Passengers booked on this service will most likely be re-routed through Sydney on its daily service to Hong Kong. Given this flight departs Sydney at 10/10:10am, here is what I would suggest the airline re-book you on:

  • If you want to maximise your time at The House lounge in Sydney, opt for the earliest departure from Melbourne (6am, getting you in to Sydney at 7:25am)
  • If you want a lie-flat seat from Melbourne to Sydney, opt for the 7am departure from Melbourne. However, this will reduce your transfer time from 2½ to 1½ hours
Etihad Sydney First Class Lounge | Point Hacks
The House Sydney is worth a visit for 1-2 hours

You are also entitled to a refund if you do not wish to take the flight.

To discuss your flight change or refund, call:

  • Virgin Australia on 13 67 89 if you booked your ticket with cash
  • Velocity Frequent Flyer on 13 18 75 if you booked with points
  • the relevant frequent flyer program, e.g. Etihad Guest, if you booked with someone else

Other route cancellations

Virgin Australia is also cutting the following routes:

  • Perth – Canberra from 6 December 2019
  • Perth – Gold Coast from 19 January 2020
  • Sydney – Christchurch from 29 April 2020

In addition, they are reducing the frequency of Sydney – Tamworth and Sydney – Auckland flights.

Furthermore, Virgin Australia’s low-cost subsidiary Tigerair is cutting:

  • Brisbane – Darwin from 3 February 2020
  • Sydney – Prosperpine from 3 February 2020
  • Brisbane – Adelaide from 29 March 2020
Virgin Australia and Tigerair route cancellations November 2019
Virgin Australia (red) and Tigerair (yellow) route cancellations

If you are booked on any of these services, follow the instructions above to change or refund your ticket.

Virgin Australia new route announcements

Brisbane – Tokyo (Haneda)

The freed-up Airbus A330 from the Melbourne – Hong Kong flight will be redeployed on the airline’s new Brisbane – Tokyo Haneda service from 29 March 2020.

Virgin Australia A330 Business Class
Virgin Australia’s A330 has one of the best Business Class seats flying from Australia

Tickets for this service are not yet on sale, but we’ll let you know when they are released. Expect intense competition for Business Class seats on this service, so you’ll want to get in quick.

Melbourne – Bali

The airline will join four other airlines—Qantas, Jetstar, Garuda Indonesia and Malindo Air—in flying to Denpasar, from 29 March 2020. I expect this to be on a Boeing 737 with recliner Business Class seats.

Virgin Australia 737 Business Class seat
A recliner seat (pictured) on a six-hour flight is not ideal, with Garuda Indonesia being the only carrier on this route to offer an angled-flat seat (not pictured)

Summing up

These route cancellations are disappointing for Virgin Australia passengers booked or wanting to be booked on these services. However, given the airline’s struggling financial performance, a reduction in capacity is necessary. Hopefully, these changes will improve their bottom line.

Virgin Australia axes Melbourne – Hong Kong in favour of Brisbane – Tokyo (Haneda) was last modified: January 20th, 2020 by Matt Moffitt