The rebooted Virgin Australia is axing these regional flight routes, citing low demand


Virgin Australia is scrapping some regional flight routes across Australia.

A Virgin Australia spokesperson told Business Insider Australia via email the airline has withdrawn its services from Ayers Rock, Albury, Tamworth, Hervey Bay, Port Macquarie, Mildura and Cloncurry “for the foreseeable future”.

“With the changes to simplifying our fleet and ongoing subdued customer demand, we have been required to make some adjustments to our network,” the spokesperson said.

The airline isn’t currently operating flights to and from these locations.

Before the coronavirus pandemic and related border restrictions these flight routes were already under review because they were underperforming. Since the pandemic and the airline’s move to simplify its fleet, Virgin ramped up its efforts to exit from those routes.

“We remain committed to regional Australia and we plan to continue to fly to 20 regional destinations in Australia,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“We will continue to review our network as travel restrictions ease and demand returns.”

Virgin Australia will be contacting customers who have bookings on these routes to let them know of other options. Those who booked with a travel agent will have to contact them directly.

Virgin’s move to withdraw from these regional flight routes comes after the airline was rescued from voluntary administration by Bain Capital.

The airline announced its plans under its new owners in August, including streamlining its fleet to all Boeing 737 aircraft, cutting 3000 jobs and discontinuing its Tigerair operations.

At the time, Virgin Australia Group CEO and Managing Director Paul Scurrah said he didn’t see demand for domestic travel coming back for at least another three years.

“Demand for domestic and short haul international travel is likely to take at least three years to return to pre-COVID-19 levels, with the real chance it could be longer, which means as a business we must make changes to ensure the Virgin Australia Group is successful in this new world,” he said in a statement.

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