Virgin Australia will reduce the number of flights on its flagship routes from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Los Angeles due to scheduled heavy maintenance on its flagship Boeing 777 fleet.
The extensive and exhaustive checks will see trans-Pacific flights stepped down to the following schedule from late July to mid-September:
- Sydney-Los Angeles-Sydney (VA1/VA2) will drop from a daily service to run five times a week
- Brisbane-Los Angeles-Brisbane (VA7/VA8 and VA9/VA6) will be trimmed from six flights each week to five
- Melbourne-Los Angeles-Melbourne (VA23/VA24) will drop from five flights each week to four
A Virgin Australia spokeswoman confirmed the changes to Executive Traveller, and it's suggested that another schedule shuffle could follow in late October.
The spokesman says that affected passengers will be contacted either by their travel agent, if travel was booked via an agency, or Virgin Australia, if the travel was booked directly with the airline, so that alternative arrangements can be made.
In US-related news, Velocity frequent flyer points can now be used to upgrade business class on selected flights by Virgin's partner Delta Air Lines, including Delta's daily Sydney-Los Angeles service, many domestic US routes – among them the trans-continental corridors from LAX to New York and Boston – plus some flights between the United States and Mexico.
However, there’s an important catch: upgrades can only be applied for if the Delta flight is booked under a Virgin Australia (VA) codeshare flight number, which in turn can only be done in connection with a journey to or from Australia on a ticket issued by Virgin Australia.