Virgin Australia will fly to Paris (via Auckland and Hong Kong)

Virgin Australia's Boeing 777 will make a one-off trek from Brisbane to Paris, with stops in Auckland and Hong Kong.

By Brandon Loo, April 9 2020
Virgin Australia will fly to Paris (via Auckland and Hong Kong)

Virgin Australia is gearing up for an unlikely flight from Brisbane to Paris this weekend; with scheduled pit-stops in Auckland and Hong Kong on the way there and a Project Sunrise-style non-stop marathon on the way home.

In fact, it's not a normal flight by any measure, with the Boeing 777-300ER heading out on a charter flight operated on behalf of the French government to return its citizens stranded in New Zealand.

"The seats will go as a priority to the following reported situations, vulnerable people, health personnel, young people in great difficulty and with no return solution," advises the French Embassy of New Zealand. "Those invited to take this flight will be contacted directly by phone and / or email."

"We continue to work tirelessly to find solutions for French transients stranded in New Zealand and without a return solution, in the North Island and the South Island."

"As a major Australian carrier we are pleased to support the Government in getting Australians home and maintaining important freight links into the country," a Virgin Australia spokesperson told Executive Traveller. "We're also happy to help return others to their home countries."

Virgin's Brisbane to Paris flight

The Boeing 777-300ER will traverse 37,500km – just over 23,000 miles – on its epic and exclusive repatriation journey, although it will only take on selected passengers at Auckland – not Brisbane or Hong Kong.

Virgin Australia's circuitous route from Brisbane to Paris and back.
Virgin Australia's circuitous route from Brisbane to Paris and back.

Virgin Australia flight VA9940 will push-back from Brisbane at 8am on Saturday 11 April, before calling in Auckland at 1pm later that day.

It will then adopt a new flight number of VA9015, departing Auckland at 3pm to land in Hong Kong at 10:30pm for a 105-minute refuel, before continuing onwards to Paris with an arrival time of 7:30am on Sunday morning.

The jet will leave Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport on 8am Monday 13 April as VA9941, reaching Brisbane at 11am on Tuesday 14 April. With no stopover listed in the schedule, this is expected to be a 19-hour long direct flight.

Virgin, Qantas to the rescue

Virgin has said it will continue to participate in Government-arranged repatriation flights, despite grounding all of its scheduled passenger services apart from a single daily return flight between Sydney and Melbourne.

On Virgin Australia's Boeing 777 repatriation flights – flying to Brisbane from Hong Kong and Los Angeles, and vice versa – only flexible economy tickets are available at a fixed price.

Passengers can choose extra legroom seats in the Economy X section (rows 20-26 and 39), but won't receive any other Economy X benefits.

Choose extra-legroom seats in the Economy X section (circled) for free.
Choose extra-legroom seats in the Economy X section (circled) for free.

Both Qantas and Virgin Australia are trimming in-flight services on these repatriation flights, including the inflight entertainment screens and WiFi being switched off on Qantas flights.

Brandon Loo

Based in Perth, Brandon enjoys tucking into local delicacies, discovering new cocktails, and making aeroplane food look good on camera.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 807

I assume J & W are held for crew as well as potentially some government mandated travellers such as embassy staff etc.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 450

Any insight on how such a flight will be crewed? How would they get rested crews to Hong Kong and Paris?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1243

A set of crew will deadhead on the flight out?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 773

Most likely business will be for the extra crew.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 367

This will send poor AJ (over as Mascot) off his rocker. "Favouritism-Favouritism" he'll be bitterly muttering.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2018

Total posts 7

The flight will be double crewed as due to govt reg crew cannot dismebark in AKL or Hk.1 set of crew will deadhead(pax) BNE-AKL-HKG then they will operate the CDG leg.

Crew will day rest in Paris and ferry the a/c to HK then onwards to Aus

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 269

The crew will overnight in HKG and the flight is operating CDG-BNE non-stop.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 269

There's a crew on HKG already. And they'll overnight in HKG and CDG before heading to BNE.

12 Apr 2020

Total posts 2

Will require two crews. First crew could operate BNEAKLHKG. Second crew will pre-position in HKG on the recent minimum Govt network. First Crew will slip in HKG. Second crew will have a 24 hour slip at CDG. Same crew will operate CDGBNE. You can't dead head crew to operate the return sector without minimum rest.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 269

Correct, no crews are deadheading.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

19 Mar 2018

Total posts 61

Oh? How curious. CX ready to admit theyh are VA VS yet?

26 Nov 2017

Total posts 3

What is deadheading


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