I don’t post news about routes too often, but if it has the potential to impact on points redemptions or opportunities I’ll do so.
First, Virgin Australia are temporarily opting out of the Sydney – Abu Dhabi route while they reconfigure their 777-300ERs to their new Business Class product.
Secondly, Malaysia Airlines restructure plans are also starting to make themselves felt, with an announcement they’ll be leaving the Brisbane – Kuala Lumpur route from August.
Virgin Australia suspends Sydney – Abu Dhabi
In order to reconfigure their fleet with the new Business Class product rolling out this year, Virgin will be ceding their Sydney Abu-Dhabi flights to Etihad, meaning a reduction in lower cost Velocity redemptions on the route.
It also means those with existing bookings will be re-accomodated on Etihad services – however of course Etihad doesn’t offer a Premium Economy cabin so if you’re booked in Premium you’ll need to check with Virgin to see what your options are.
AusBT has more details, but in short the affected flights are VA29 and VA30 between October 27 and December 16 2015, and February 2 and April 6 2016.
This sounds like one of each of their 777’s being reconfigured during that time. It will be interesting to see how Virgin rolls out their new Business Class fleet during this time.
Malaysia Airlines cutting Brisbane – Kuala Lumpur, scaling back Perth
Sydney and Melbourne reduce from three to two flights per day, while Adelaide is cut back to four times per week from daily. Perth’s second service MH126/MH127 on some days is also going.
There will likely be quite a few affected points redeemers on these routes given how generally good Malaysia Airlines award seat availability has been, and you’ll need to check initially with your Frequent Flyer program that you have redeemed with to see what other options you might have.
With a paid ticket, you’ll need to contact Malaysia Airlines directly.