Virgin Australia puts flights to Fiji back on sale

Taking off in December, the flights represent Virgin’s return to international skies.

By David Flynn, September 25 2021
Virgin Australia puts flights to Fiji back on sale

Virgin Australia has joined the list of airlines intending to resume overseas flights once the country's borders reopen, with Virgin now selling tickets on daily flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Fiji's Nadi Airport in late December.

The airline's website lists daily Sydney-Nadi and Brisbane-Nadi flights from December 23 2021, with Melbourne-Nadi joining them on December 24 – although Executive Traveller understands Virgin is likely to brings those forward to start mid-December, when more people are looking to jet away for the Christmas holiday period

A Virgin Australia spokesperson said there's been "a strong uplift in Fiji bookings since Friday, following the Federal Government's announcement on international borders. Traffic to our website and subsequent Fiji flight searches have increased over 250%."

Qantas and Fiji Airways have also scheduled flights from December as the island nation gears up for the return of international tourists, which in pre-pandemic times saw Australia count for more than 50% of all visitors.

Virgin's Fiji-bound flyers are expected to have access to the airport lounges at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane previously managed by No1 Lounges but since taken over by Swissport and due to be rebranded to join the Aspire network.

The airline's flight to Fiji make good on the promise of CEO Jayne Hrdlicka, who in April remarked that "short-haul international" services such as the Pacific Islands would come back "soon as the borders open."

The airline has been forced to postpone its planned return to New Zealand across September-December, which saw flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Queenstown, due to the ongoing suspension of trans-Tasman travel.

Putting Fiji back on the timetable also marks Virgin's first international flights following its collapse in April 2020 and subsequent rescue by US-based Bain Capital in September that year.

Although Virgin has effectively been a domestic-only airline for the past 18 months, it has always maintained that a return to overseas flying was on the cards, initially on short-range routes to the likes of New Zealand, Fiji and Bali.

These are all within the range of Virgin's workhorse Boeing 737 fleet, although destinations such as Asia and the USA will remain out of reach until the airline obtains new long-range jets to replace the Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s ditched by Bain.

Virgin is now rebuilding its Boeing 737 fleet, with nine more jets – most of which were formerly flown by Singapore Airlines' regional arm SilkAir – joining the fleet across October 2021-February 2022.

Also read: Virgin to reopen points bookings on international partner airlines

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.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards - Platinum

18 Jun 2015

Total posts 26

10 minutes after reading this article I have booked flights to Fiji with VA 😂

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

18 Aug 2020

Total posts 34

Don’t understand why they launched BNE flights when you will need to spend two weeks in the new Big4 Wellcamp on return.

doubt there will be any quarantine requirement whatsoever in 3 months.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 238

These flights have been on sale for a while now.. Virgin also selling flights to Bali ex Syd/Mel/BNE from March, some days double daily.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

18 Aug 2020

Total posts 34

I don’t think they’ve opened up redemptions yet for award seats which is annoying.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 126

You are right in saying that with "use points" turned on, you can't select Fiji (Nadi) as a destination. But here's a trick I just found regarding the redemptions:

Search for the flights you want with "Use Points" turned off. Once you've browsed them, go back and do another flight search, and turn on "Use Points". Don't input the destination yourself - There should be a "recent searches" list on that screen. Click that recent search you just did and it should take you straight into the flights, showing you the points required. This worked for me.

In fact, for some reason, if you select "Use Points" on the search screen, quite a number of destinations (not just Fiji) disappear from the list of destinations.

Hope this helps.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 697

Bula Bula as long as we don’t need to quarantine on our return.

why would we have to quarantine ? Not talking about today.

slightly off topic but on ebay you can bid on flights Brisbane/Nadi/Los Angeles January 4, back January 19. Cost is only $999 + whatever you bid, with only $100 deposit needed now. Can't get much better than that & get Qantas frequent flyer points & the ability to upgrade to probably the best business class across the Pacific on brand new(well low mileage 21month old) A359s. Think the minimum bid for a long haul sector from any economy fare is AU$865 (eg. Nadi/LAX or LAX/Nadi). Note the Nadi/SFO/Nadi sectors are operated not by the A359s, but rather by an A332 or A333.

09 Sep 2021

Total posts 16

I didn't notice if the article said you need to be vaccinated?

Does Virgin require that? Does Fiji require that?

Thank you.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

26 Jun 2011

Total posts 82

Judging by the information in previous ET articles of Virgin (Vaccination Passports) and Fiji (Return of international tourists) I would assume that the answer is YES.

thinking outside the box, Fiji wants & needs as many tourists as it can get.

Although Qantas owns roughly 45% of Fiji Airways, Qantas codeshares with Air NZ & on certain Air NZ flights, you can seats using Qantas frequent flyer points, (eg. in NZ) so ...

Why couldn't Fiji air & Virgin co-operate in some way ? Codeshare? make both frequent flyer points redeemable on both airlines ?

Virgin has no aircraft, that can fly to USA from Australia, unless you count the parked B777s.

Fiji air has 5 different aircraft that can fly to USA nonstop from Fiji. A359s, A332s, A333 & 2 types of B738s(to Hawaii only or 1 stop to mainland USA)

There are going to be times, in low season, as always, when airlines can't sell all their seats & therefore they make more frequent flyer seats available.

Different times, mean different ideas need to be looked at, to fill aircraft.

99% of the time, BNE & MEL to Fiji, is only operated by B738s (Fiji air & Virgin). There has been the occasional widebody BNE & MEL to NAN.

Often you could get frequent flyer seats out of Sydney to USA, but not out of Brisbane or Melbourne. No one from BNE or MEL wants to fly via bloody awful SYD airport, to go to USA, as can add a minimum of 4 1/2 hours each way from BNE & similar from MEL to eg. LAX.

So if could use Virgin, Qantas or other frequent flyer points to fly BNE or MEL to Fiji, Hawaii, LAX, SFO etc. then it would surely be in everyones interest. A WIN, WIN, WIN situation. Both airlines could say ... for a 1 year trial, blah, blah, blah.

You could end up flying Virgin metal to Fiji & Fiji air metal from Fiji to LAX or SFO nonstop.

Know quite a few people, in the past, who had had millions of Qantas points & wanted to use them & were able to get nonstops to LAX(from mid January, no earlier) & then LAX/Fiji also on points, but then had to buy Fiji/BNE on separate tickets, as no frequent flyer tickets to SYD or MEL either & so they decided to stopover in Fiji for few days & spend 1000s of dollars there.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 373

trying to get flights 20/12/21 over and returning a week later nothing.I am trying anything to get somewhere for christmas.if the price is not much more than whatever the gold coast would have cost me similar timings or slightly shorter then yes please.


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