Virgin Australia cancels more international services
Trims for Los Angeles, Haneda, Tonga and Raratonga.
Virgin Australia is making further cuts to its international services, with a decrease in demand for travel during the coronavirus pandemic exacerbating an already challenging time for the airline.
The biggest permanent cuts are removing its Auckland-Tonga service, which will cease from 1 May, and its Auckland-Raratonga flights, which will end on 21 July.
Two shorter term route changes were also announced:
- The daily Brisbane to Haneda service is dropping to three times a week from 29 March until 3 May.
- Sydney to Los Angeles service is being cut to five times a week from early May to early June.
Virgin CEO Paul Scurrah emphasised that international routes were only a minor part of the airline's activity. "As a largely domestic airline, we are less exposed to the impact on international travel, however we remain disciplined in our focus on managing capacity in response to forward bookings and continuing to reduce costs across the business," he said in a statement. "It's worth noting that domestic operations account for 88% of our passengers and 78% of our flight revenue."
Domestic routes are also being reduced by 5%. Most of those changes will happen on routes which have multiple flights a day, with affected passengers rebooked on other services when possible.
From a frequent flyer perspective, seeing Tonga and Raratonga disappear is sad. Those destinations featured on many bucket lists as a potential exotic points destination.
This is very unlikely to be the last change we'll see of this kind. Qantas has already rerouted its Sydney-London flights through Perth rather than Singapore from late April, and many European airlines are reducing or ditching US services following the ban on travel between Europe and the US for non-US citizens. We live in interesting and challenging times.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on Finder.
Picture: Angus Kidman