Virgin Australia launches direct flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles
Taking off five days a week.
When it comes to direct flights between Victoria's capital city and Los Angeles, Qantas and United Airlines have been the only players up until now. As of today however, Melbournians have one more airline they can turn to jet set them to the City of Angels minus the layover: Virgin Australia.
The inaugural flight took off this morning at 11:30 on the airline's flagship Boeing 777-300 aircraft, with passengers being sent off to a fanfare of American-themed live entertainment at the passenger check-in. The celebrations continued on board with Hershey chocolates and Budweiser beers offered to all classes.
Unlike United and Qantas, this Virgin Australian route won't be in operation daily, but instead will run five times a week. Flights will depart Melbourne on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 am and will land in Los Angeles at 9 am the following morning, giving passengers the whole day to explore.
The plane will then return from Los Angeles on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8:55pm and will arrive back on Australian soil at 5:45am the following morning.
While there's no confirmation as to what the standard price for this route will be, at the moment Virgin Australia has flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles from $1,284 return for departures in June and it's likely the fares will stay competitive with Qantas and United who have been known to sell their airfares for under $1,000.
For passengers flying with a Velocity card, you'll be happy to hear that you will be eligible for velocity points and status credits on these flight bookings. You'll also be happy to hear that if you're flying in or out of Melbourne Domestic Airport this week, the Virgin Australia Melbourne Domestic Lounge is continuing the celebrations with American-themed food through to 7 April 2017.
Virgin Australia currently operates direct flights between Sydney and Brisbane to Los Angeles, making Melbourne its third direct-to-Los Angeles flight route from an Australian city.