Virgin Australia partner Etihad Airways will end its Perth-Abu Dhabi flights from October 2 2018.
A spokesman for Etihad Airways confirmed to Australian Business Traveller its decision to pull the plug on Perth, saying "the cancellation of the Perth route is one of several adjustments that we are making to our network in 2018 in order to improve system profitability."
The airline's last flight from Abu Dhabi to Perth (EY486) will depart on September 30 2018, while the final Perth-Abu Dhabi flight (EY487) will take wing on October 1, reaching Abu Dhabi early in the morning on October 2 2018.
Passengers affected by cancellation of these flights are advised to contact the airline or the travel agency responsible for their booking to discuss alternative arrangements.
While Etihad currently flies its Boeing 787s to Perth, from April 16, that swaps to an Airbus A330 jet as previously reported, until the route ceases later in the year.
The cancellation comes as international flights from Perth are getting increasingly competitive, with arch rival Emirates planning to make Perth an all-A380 destination, while Qatar Airways is also bringing its superjumbos to the mining capital from May 1 2018.
Last month saw Qantas launch non-stop Perth-London flights using its Boeing 787 aircraft – removing the need to stopover in places like Abu Dhabi for London-bound flyers.
Other recent changes to Etihad's Australian routes have included withdrawing Airbus A380s from Melbourne in favour of double-daily Sydney-Abu Dhabi superjumbo flights, and removing first class from Brisbane-Abu Dhabi services.
Virgin Australia planned to launch its own Perth-Abu Dhabi flights back in 2017, but nixed those plans before the first flight left the runway, noting that "subsequent changes in market conditions have made the route no longer viable for Virgin Australia".