Virgin Australia cancels all overseas flights, bookings to August 9

The good news: Virgin will continue flying its pared-back domestic network until at least the middle of July.

By David Flynn, May 27 2020
Virgin Australia cancels all overseas flights, bookings to August 9

Virgin Australia has this morning cancelled all international flights between June 15 and August 9, although the airline says it will continue domestic flights until at least mid-July.

The airline, which has been in administration since April 21 and is now searching for a new owner, this morning advised travel agents of the schedule changes.

Virgin's 'minimum domestic network' introduced on April 17 under a Government subsidy arrangement will be extended "for the period 15 June – 12 July 2020".

This saw the airline flying 64 return services each week, mainly between capital cities but also to several regional destinations in Queensland and Western Australia.

"We have updated our domestic schedule from 15 June to 12 July to align with expected demand due to the continuing travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19," an airline spokesperson confirmed to Executive Traveller.

"Discussions with the Federal Government regarding any underwritten support for these services are continuing. We intend to continue operating the minimal schedule currently in place and we’ll make any further adjustments as required and update guests accordingly."

However, given the current restrictions on international travel, all overseas flights – even to near-neighbours such as New Zealand, which could soon reopen to Australians as part of a 'trans-Tasman travel bubble' – have been scrapped, and all passenger bookings for those flights are now cancelled.

"Due to the large number of speculative bookings being held, and the potential for excessive volumes of forfeited no-shows, all bookings held over this period have been cancelled," the airline's note to travel agents explained.

"Tickets issued on or before 20 April 2020 are eligible for a conditional credit," the airline said, referring to restricted travel vouchers now being offered through the airline's administrators in place of cash refunds or regular travel bank vouchers.

However, these credits come with a caveat: they're valid only while Virgin Australia remains in administration, and there is no guarantee they would be honoured by the airline’s new owners.

Lead administrator Vaughan Strawbridge of Deloitte has observed that these credits are all about preserving “as much goodwill associated with the Virgin brand and business as possible for a buyer.”

The Virgin Australia spokesman told Executive Traveller that "any affected guests will be contacted directly with information about their options and we’ll continue to assess demand and flights as travel restrictions ease."

Read more: Virgin Australia administrators: no refunds, just 'conditional' credit

David

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.

22 Jan 2018

Total posts 83

Seems the Virgin brand is jinxed. New owners - first call of duty, pls change the name!!

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 181

The real news story is a positive one that the expanded minimum schedule with more flights and options has been EXTENDED to July 2020 from June. The expected decision to continue international flight restrictions (beyond government freight and repatriation flights) I would say are based on best government advice and the already public government announcements that “international borders won't be open for travel in 2020”. And J Arden staring bubble possible but not for at least a few months. This announced timeline makes sense. And the real positive is the domestic schedule is building up. Great news for all especially with better connections on VA to places like Cairns and Townsville with the recent enhanced enlarged schedule.

08 May 2020

Total posts 41

Auckland - Melbourne / Sydney - Auckland will be open in July 2020 very positive

Pacific Islands to and from Melb & Sydney to open in August very positive

internal borders in Australia are more uncertain when to open.

29 May 2020

Total posts 8

AKL - AUS won't be open in July. The governements need to agree this and Jacinta Ardern has said not until at least Spetember. Plus airlines need lead in times to sell the capacity.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Oct 2018

Total posts 9

The latest media updates sounds very positive. Virgin Australia needs to survive and come back even stronger. Do any of you believe Tigerair will remain as LCC?

Tiger has been euthanised. Only viable aspect of that business is the AOC.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 96

Who buys a "speculative" ticket from an airline in administration? What were they thinking?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Feb 2015

Total posts 29

frequent TRAVELERS have and do want VA to survive so will buy tickets for the airline. We hope to continue with VA.

27 May 2020

Total posts 3

It's great they are offering credit however completely wrong that no consideration is taken for people who need refunds.

We planned this mid last year needing a live in carer for my mentally disabled mother. Organising an NDIS carer, and having required funding.

We simply can't travel having a duty of care and we seemed to be expected to lose our hard earned money to upkeep up our duty of care.

No one will help. Flight centre, Virgin, airline advocates and awaiting an email from the Administrators. Virgin have written to me saying they won't help any further as we contacted the Airline Advocates who received the same generic email as I did initially saying we can't meet the expectations of the passenger. So we have no options now as being refused customer service form Virgin.

Also no one will confirm who holds the funds;

-Flight centre say Virgin. Who has to decided if they will release it.

-Virgin say IATA however must organise via Flight Centre.

-Flight centre advise they require confirmation from virgin however virgin refer back to Flight Centre.

-IATA advise they don't hold funds

No flights have taken place and no service provided to us the customer. The money should not belong to Virgin. The terms and conditions for flight centre advise it's held until the flight takes place however it's still decided from Virgin for a refund.

Thousands of people in similar circumstances too who can't get answers or help.

07 Mar 2017

Total posts 36

That's just the law. Under administration, the administrator is not permitted to give cash out of the business to anyone except for the provision of newly purchased services. It makes everybody equal and they are liable to being sued if they give preferential treatment by handing cash out to others.

What you are requesting is preferential treatment, to give you priority against all other creditors. The law does not permit this.

27 May 2020

Total posts 3

As mentioned no confirmation has been given that the funds have left flight centre.

Regardless, no service has been provided. It doesn't make it equal that people have credit to use and the we go without completely.

You may call it preferential treatment however I didn't ask to be born with a mentally disabled mother with only I to care for her requiring live in carers and required NDIS funding.

It's not our prerogative that Virgin didn't have a contingency plan. We paid for a service that could not be completed out of everyone's control. Taking Australians hard earned money especially in this crisis is no response.

No one is taking ownership nor leadership from the administrators or Virgin in reaching out to customers with any transparency to the situation. Every single person is receiving contradicting information and obfuscate replies with this and left to customers to fight and we intended to do so.

http://chng.it/LwFRL5bwG6

07 Mar 2017

Total posts 36

Your response doesn't address the point though.

27 May 2020

Total posts 3

The main point is there shouldn't be a reason to fight it. It's under our ACCC rights.

On pages 3 and 4 of the ACCC manual in relation to Travel and Accomodation under Australian Consumer Law:

A major failure with services is when:

“a reasonable consumer would not have acquired the services if they had known the nature and extent of the problem”.

When there is a major failure the consumer can:

“cancel the services and get a refund for any unconsumed services (for example, the unused nights to a hotel stay)”.

“The consumer gets to choose, not the supplier”.

https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Travel%20%26%20accommodation%20-%20an%20industry%20guide%20to%20the%20Australian%20Consumer%20Law_0.pdf

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 151

Flew Business Class Perth -Melbourne- Brisbane yesterday , no direct flight available.

Paid normal Business class fare and for a meal on both sectors was given a small bag of peanuts but there were small bottles of wine.

I do realise that this is a limited schedule and service but I certainly hope they improve the non existent Business Class meal service or lower the fare comparitive to what is served. No way near any value for the price paid ATM.

Staff were great and did the best they could.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 152

Why are they not serving food? Is this a VA thing or an industry wide airline thing?

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 700

Rod h not serving meals is a COVID 19 thing but they could have done better than a bag of peanuts. Maybe the administrator has sacked the caterer as part of the administration process.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 151

Both VA and QF have Government subsidies to run these limited schedules.

To protect their crew they will not serve normal meals in any class and the Govt wouldn't pay for meals as well I reckon.

This is only until the Govt. subsidy ceases on June 11th , as far as I know.

Hence my comment that if they continue under their own steam and still not serve full meals then they should not charge the normal J Class fare.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 293

what's happening domestically post july?

08 May 2020

Total posts 41

State Premiers need a kick up their backside and listen to the Federal CMO and open Borders.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 700

Pete, they listen to their state chief medical officers which is eminently more sensible from their point of view, as they have a better hands on the local contexts. Ifthey differ it is a bad look to ignore their own, and a vote of no confidence. The Ruby Princess passengers going to all points of the country was what settled it, and the Federal Medical Officer was overridden. A bit silly to close international borders when border force lets them in any way (see WA yesterday) , so why not close state borders.

08 May 2020

Total posts 41

WA admitted it was their own fault!!!!! These cases will continue to happen over the next 12 months. we need to learn and live with it and prepare to counter it. We need to get onto our feet NOW.

28 May 2020

Total posts 1

I'm guessing this means Delta SYD to LAX is grounded as well as they use VA? Does anyone know if any airlines are completing the SYD to LAX leg in June?

05 Apr 2017

Total posts 11

"Lead administrator Vaughan Strawbridge of Deloitte has observed that these credits are all about preserving “as much goodwill associated with the Virgin brand and business as possible for a buyer.”" It seems to me that VA is doing its best to trash that goodwill. Travelled yesterday BNE-MEL for a one way Y fare of $1,100 per person on top of which VA receives a government subsidy under the "minimum domestic network" scheme. QF was not an option when I booked, as they had nil seat availability (economy or business) for 8 straight days. Nil Jetstar availability and Tiger appears to be gone for good as Clipped Wing noted above. VA was my only option for this trip (family illness - need to travel).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Oct 2018

Total posts 9

Tigerair is ust in hibernation for the moment. It will be back to compete with JQ bigger and stronger.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Feb 2015

Total posts 29

WA are dragging their feet on borders. Should of been lifted 3 weeks ago. We need federal help to make them open up and get our business going again.

08 May 2020

Total posts 41

re VA getting back into Business with a New Owner and I hope it will be with a similar full Service as before. Mid Day Fights between 10 - 3.00 pm could be made very Low cost to get Family & Tourist travellers getting great value and have full Plane loads. Premium when Bus Travel is peak. However I am not so sure about VA continue with Brisbane's Head Office as they dont even have a clue when the Queensland Gov. may open up their Border. If they miss 2-3 months of Business there will be absolute substantial if Q only opens Borders September/October. Covid -19 will not go away for some time yet.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 700

Border opening across Australia more likely July august after a month of testing current easing of restrictions.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Feb 2015

Total posts 29

Feds really need to get state borders opened next few weeks. There really are minor covid cases now out of 27 million people. We really should be seeing 1000's with the virus, not half dozens. Killing the economy & businesses

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

26 Nov 2016

Total posts 2

Does anyone know what would happen regarding refunds for code share tickets purchased from Virgin but code share with Delta SYD-LAX?


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