Virgin Australia will no longer fly from Brisbane to Bundaberg, Gladstone and Moranbah in Queensland or Port Macquarie in New South Wales from July 17 2017, with these routes instead handed over to Alliance Airlines – and with Virgin Australia to codeshare on Alliance’s flights.
Although passengers will be travelling on an ‘Alliance Airlines’ plane rather than one painted as ‘Virgin Australia’, booking the journey under a Virgin VA flight number will still provide a full serve of frequent flyer points and those all-important status credits, in line with the fare type purchased.
Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers plus paid-up Virgin Australia lounge members can also continue enjoying lounge access in Brisbane prior to Alliance Airlines flights when booked on a VA flight number (rather than an Alliance Airlines QQ flight number).
Virgin Australia has no lounges in these regional destinations, although Velocity Gold and Platinum members can stop by the airline’s Brisbane lounge after their Alliance Airlines codeshare flight, in line with the usual Velocity rules – but this perk doesn’t extend to paid Virgin Lounge members.
The shake-up comes as Virgin Australia reduces the size of its regional ATR turboprop fleet from 14 planes down to just six from mid-2017, with Alliance Airlines to fly Fokker 100 and Fokker 70LR jets in their place.
Passengers who had already booked Virgin Australia flights on these routes for travel on or after July 17 2017 will be reaccommodated onto the replacement Alliance Airlines flights.