Virgin rejigs international routes to meet demand
Virgin Australia is making the most of its alliance with Etihad Airways, with the carriers optimising their international networks out of Australia to access new markets. Last month Virgin announced the launch of thrice weekly flights between Perth and Abu Dhabi – the first long haul operations to be flown by the VA fleet of A330 aircraft. At the same time,
Virgin is pulling out of the Sydney-abu Dhabi market, redirecting the 777s used to operate that route to a new Melbourne-los Angeles operation. VA’S Brisbane-los Angeles flights will reduce to six weekly, while Etihad will replace VA’S thrice weekly SYD-AUH services with its own metal, maintaining the route as a double daily operation. The move reflects ongoing strong demand for travel to the USA, enabling VA to offer flights from all three east coast capitals of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Los Angeles. At the same time Etihad’s existing Perth-abu Dhabi route will be bolstered by the extra VA frequencies – simultaneously giving additional options for Western Australian passengers to travel to the USA via Abu Dhabi which offers a convenient pre-clearance option.