Virgin returns to Australia after four years
Four years after discontinuing flights from London to Australia, Virgin Atlantic announced that it will resume flights to Sydney and Melbourne. The flights, which will connect in Los Angeles or Hong Kong, will begin later this month. The announcement comes on the heels of a disappointing year for the airline, which experienced a decrease in profits in 2017.
Four years after it stopped offering flights to Sydney, Virgin is once again heading to Australia, says chief executive Craig Kreeger.
According to Kreeger, Virgin Atlantic will begin offering flights to Melbourne and Sydney from London via Los Angeles and Hong Kong, thanks to a code-sharing agreement with its sister airline, Virgin Australia.
Earlier this month, Virgin Atlantic unveiled plans to offer three different types of economy fares as part of a £300 million investment, which will also see it rebrand Premium Economy as Premium.
Later this spring, passengers who need extra legroom will be able to book an Economy Delight flight, which will offer 34 inches of legroom rather than the standard 31 inches. Economy Delight also offers priority boarding and advance seat assignment.
Additionally, Virgin will offer Economy Light, a low-cost fare that does not offer checked-in luggage or seat assignment. As with many low-cost fares on other airlines, the fare is non-refundable and passengers cannot change the dates that they fly.
Economy Classic will replace the current Economy Standard ticket.
Virgin plans to operate daily return services from Sydney to Hong Kong on Airbus A330-200 aircrafts featuring “The Business,” which has been voted the world’s best business class for two consecutive years by AirlineRatings.com.
Virgin Atlantic suspended flights to Australia in 2014, saying that the routes were no longer economically viable. The announcement came as a shock to the aviation world and left British Airways as the only major European airline to fly to Australia using its own aircraft.
Virgin Atlantic has undergone a number of changes in recent years. In 2017, the airline reported a loss after three consecutive years of profits, with a drop of 100,000 in passenger numbers. Among the reasons cited for the company’s drop in profits are the Brexit vote and disruptions to its flights to Florida following hurricanes in the summer of 2017. Virgin America was bought out by Alaska Airlines and the brand will soon disappear. Virgin Australia has also undergone numerous changes to its structure and is now owned by other airlines.
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