In time for Easter holidays, Virgin adds new 'beach escape' routes

Swap the 9-to-5 for some sun, surf and sand as Virgin shifts its seasonal focus to favour a slew of getaway destinations.

By David Flynn, February 18 2021
In time for Easter holidays, Virgin adds new 'beach escape' routes

Virgin Australia is ramping things up ahead of the Easter holiday season, beginning with two new routes offering a beach getaway from the southern capitals.

Direct flights between Adelaide and Queensland's Sunshine Coast, and from Melbourne to Ballina Byron (Byron Bay), will both start from 29 March 2021 and run until 25 April 2021, with one-way economy class fares starting at $129.

The airline says it "expects to extend the flights beyond the Easter period subject to easing border restrictions."

As with the rest of Virgin's domestic network these flights will rely on its workhorse Boeing 737, with Virgin's relaunched business class set to debut in the same timeframe.

Read more: Virgin Australia to relaunch business class in March

Virgin also says it plans to boost the number of flights to other popular leisure destinations over the Easter holidays including Cairns, Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine), Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Ballina Byron (Byron Bay), Launceston, Hobart, Broome and Kununurra.

The strong leisure play will underscore Virgin's repositioning as a value-oriented airline, and comes as Regional Express prepares to launch its own Sydney-Melbourne and Sydney-Brisbane Boeing 737 services.

"We are making it easier and more affordable for travellers to take a holiday with many more options for travel direct to key leisure destinations," said Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka.

Virgin continues to offer a flexible booking policy which waives change and cancellation fees for bookings made before 30 April 2021 for travel until 31 January 2022.

Also read: Virgin's new Adelaide lounge to open February 23


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 378

I'll be remaining in my state for the foreseeable future. The risk of snap border closures or self isolation on return is just too great. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Aug 2017

Total posts 83

The other side of the story is that flights and accommodation are dirt cheap, and cancellation policies are extremely generous. When I can get accommodation in a 5-star tropical resort for close to $100/night, it's time to make hay while the sun shines.

My strategy: book weeks or months ahead and take advantage of the low prices and fares. If I have to cancel, I get my money back. If I don't have to cancel, I get a great holiday at a bargain-basement price!

30 May 2014

Total posts 10

Sibelius while this rings true for most travel at the moment spare a thought for the tourism businesses that are struggling to survive and are operating under really tough conditions.

While good deals are designed to stimulate demand they are not sustainable, especially for smaller operators. Value for travellers is important and we all enjoy a great deal but travellers should not have the attitude nor should they expect that airfares, accommodation, tours etc SHOULD be dirt cheap because of covid.

The flexible cancellation policies you refer to are to maintain goodwill in circumstances outside the traveller or tourism operators control but wreak havoc on operations of tourism businesses as well as inconveniencing travellers.

Certainly not rubbishing what you have said. Any demand for travel is better than nothing but just wanted to shine an alternative light on the situation.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Aug 2017

Total posts 83

I agree with all of that. And I should clarify that, once booked, I'd only cancel (and expect a refund) if I had to cancel due to COVID-related border or travel restrictions. I'm not talking about booking speculatively with the intention to cancel.

Nevertheless, if there are cheap fares/rates to be had, it's better for the industry that I take advantage of them rather than keep my money in my pocket!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Feb 2020

Total posts 30

Agree Grannular. Not interested in booking any accomodation interstate unless it’s with a fully flexible cancellation on day of arrival. The recent snap border closures by various states make any other arrangements risky unfortunately and that’s not good for travellers or Hotels.

09 Sep 2020

Total posts 4

Im still waiting to see if VA restart direct MEL-HTI and MEL-DRW flights

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 78

MEL - DRW is back as of 19 April.

Shame indeed to see MEL - HTI axed. 

That said, I recall even before VA collapsed MEL - HTI was specifically highlighted as a route that would likely not survive even the restructuring that Scurrah was hoping attempting to implement. 

Meanwhile, JQ has just added the route in addition to QF's own services.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 470

about time for ex adelaide to have another option to the sunshine coast.if money was not an issue i would look into a easter trip there.

24 Jun 2020

Total posts 47

Have they re-started a direct SYD/DRW at all or still via BNE?

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