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Virgin Australia to ground all international flights


Effective until 14 June 2020, Virgin Australia Group has suspended all of its international services and cut domestic capacity in half.

The temporary move, which equates to the grounding of 53 aircraft, comes in response to expanded government travel restrictions and falling travel demand due to COVID-19.

 

Until 30 March, when the measures commence, Virgin says it will work with the government “to prioritise bringing Australians home and returning visitors back to their point of origin safely, while maintaining its important role in supporting connectivity and the nation’s economy”. 

 

Virgin Australia landing in Los Angeles

  

“We are committed to supporting our guests during this period and have set up a dedicated customer care hub to manage the surge of customer queries and travel changes,” Virgin Australia CEO and managing director Paul Scurrah said.

 

“We are also acutely aware of the important role airlines play in supporting connectivity, tourism and the nation’s economy, and are maintaining most of our domestic routes, and instead reducing frequencies in our schedule.”

 

“The changes announced today will affect our people and we are having constructive discussions with team members and relevant unions.”

 

Mr Scurrah said the carrier would aim to “avoid redundancies by fast-tracking measures such as the use of accrued leave, leave without pay and redeployment”. 

 

“The Virgin Australia Group is focused on ensuring we manage the business through this difficult period and maintain a strong and competitive aviation industry in Australia for years to come,” he remarked.

 

Along with the grounding of all international services from 30 March to 14 June 2020, other VA changes will include: 

- Melbourne to Los Angeles services suspended from 20 March

- The inaugural Brisbane to Haneda service postponed from 29 March

- The inaugural Melbourne to Denpasar service postponed from 29 March

 

Virgin will offer flexible booking conditions as follows:

-Guests with new or existing domestic and international bookings through to 30 June have the option to change their flight to a later date, and/or a different destination, without incurring a change fee. Guests who no longer wish to travel can cancel their flight and retain the value of the booking as a travel credit.

-Guests who have booked an international flight between 30 March and 14 June will be contacted by Virgin Australia within the next 14 days via email, while guests affected by the suspension will be contacted regarding their booking.

-Travel agents will make direct contact with guests who have booked through them.

 

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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 18 March 2020


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