Virgin Australia adds Cairns, Darwin, Townsville routes

Alongside five fresh routes, Virgin is also boosting its domestic flying by 30%, with over 700 extra flights each week.

By Chris Chamberlin, May 21 2021
Virgin Australia adds Cairns, Darwin, Townsville routes

Virgin Australia is launching new routes to Cairns, Darwin and Townsville, while also planning a broader boost to domestic flying across a host of existing routes.

Combined, the airline expects to add more than 700 additional flights to its weekly schedule by October this year.

New to the schedule will be:

  • Sydney-Darwin, with seasonal daily flights from July 14
  • Perth-Cairns, offering up to four weekly flights from July 26
  • Sydney-Townsville, with three flights a week from July 27
  • Adelaide-Cairns, with up to four flights a week from August 10
  • Melbourne-Townsville, being three flights per week from August 17

“That's five new services which is fantastic, but we're also growing frequencies in markets we already serve,” observes Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka.

On the ‘Golden Triangle’ between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, each route gets a noticeable boost by October:

  • Sydney-Melbourne rises from 130 to up to 163 weekly return flights
  • Sydney-Brisbane increases from 76 to up to 104 weekly return flights
  • Melbourne-Brisbane goes from 61 weekly return flights to up to 84 weekly returns

Other increases include Gold Coast flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide; Sunshine Coast from Sydney and Melbourne; Cairns services from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne; as well as flights from Melbourne to Hamilton Island, Hobart and Launceston.

In addition, flights between Sydney and Hobart are also on the rise, as are services from Brisbane to Canberra, Mackay, Perth, Proserpine and Townsville.

Across routes new and existing, Virgin Australia will increase its domestic flying by 30%.

Also read: Virgin Australia delays return to New Zealand, Bali, Fiji

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 914

Good to see them adding more flights to Darwin and Cairns.  I wonder if they are tempted to reconsider their decision to close the lounges in both of these ports.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 273

Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if Virgin decided to reopen those lounges, it's not as if they'd need to do anything more than hire back some staff, unlock the doors and get some new catering sorted. The lounges would be sitting there ready to go, and Virgin not having them when Qantas does would have to be a factor for many travellers.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 235

Great to see capacity growth of 30% and adding hundreds of jobs. 

And excellent PR move to announce this on a day where the competitor slashed travel agent commissions by 80% and announced further redundancies and another billion dollars in cost cuts.

Lmc
Lmc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Nov 2018

Total posts 92

Like all international airlines Qantas must cut costs in order stay alive. Virgin dont have the scale and costs associated with a large network of international flights, that have been completely shut off. Hardly a comparison 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 230

And Rex says Virgin Australia is a weak competitor 🤔

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 617

Good to see these routes coming back online.

I'm going to get a Covid Jab tomorrow not because I think I need the jab, I'm getting the jab because it might get things back to normal quicker, rather than being limbo land.

08 Mar 2021

Total posts 2

Where are the aircraft needed to do all this extra flying coming from?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Aug 2015

Total posts 5

Out of storage in the US judging by the feryr flights conducted by Steve Giordano  -  Twitter @JTTsteve

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Aug 2017

Total posts 24

And like that, my sentiment towards the Hrdlicka VA offering softens!

Finally a competitor  with the Junkstar direct from Mel to TSV.  (By the way Qantas actually undercuts Junkstar on many of these flights close to the weekend by the time a max bundle is added).

Despite the times and days not being perfect, given we are now in a covid wfh world, I will book Virgin just to avoid the miserable experience of any association with Junkstar and the 3km round walk to the Melbourne airport T4 terminal - which makes 3rd world airports look glamorous.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 273

... because using juvenile nicknames like "Junkstar" is the hallmark of a mature argument.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Aug 2017

Total posts 24

And the purpose of your response is?

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 273

Maybe trying to help raise the level of debate? I agree with what you say about Jetstar but please, let's not use silly childish name-calling, it diminishes the actual argument itself.

@QFP1

Childish , Junkstar is a nice word compared to what I would call them, I feel like cancelling all my QF flights already booked.

Tuesday at the Gold Coast Airport I watched the nice staff of VA flight 2.20pm to Sydney dealing with an idiot guy from Junkstar purposely blocking access to the gate by passengers disrupting access in breach of legal compliance access codes. Well done Junkstar and the staff member of Junkstar you should your IQ level.

Lmc
Lmc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Nov 2018

Total posts 92

You should your IQ level.... wow. 

Take a breath and read before you post. 

You have a choice which airline you book with, make it and be happy. 

LOL I know I know, Hot under the collar and hit Post to quick, I’m just glad I didnt use my smart username.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 363

I assume you haven't actually ever travelled to some of the world's best airports then... most require a long hike to get to your gate. Consider BKK for example. And agree with others about your use of words - it makes you sound juvenile 

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 273

Wow, and here I thought most ET readers were mature adults, professionals who didn't need to resort to embarrassing name-calling to make their point.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Aug 2017

Total posts 24

Embarrassing namecalling? More a factual statement and blunt all encompassing summary of the airline. As far as the readers on here - I make no comment or judgement as to their background. I would suggest many in the category you suggest are satisfied with the economical yet blunt use of words provided they are factual. Keep weeping petals. 

22 Apr 2013

Total posts 13

Thanks once again ET for the latest news hot off the press. Cairns direct from Perth.. yay no Jetstar Redeye and sweetened by the $99 happy hour fare so taking the family or 6 whilst using a travel credit. ET is my go to for airline news! 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

09 Aug 2016

Total posts 25

Quick! add some new routes and hire some new staff to paper over the CEO's clumsy comments earlier in the week...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Dec 2016

Total posts 7

Spot on !  What a PR disaster that comment was!

05 Dec 2017

Total posts 9

Still no SYD  to CBR. 4 return a day should be enough. Even REX are starting to fill up on that route.


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