Virgin Australia resumes daily Melbourne-Hong Kong flights from Oct 28

By David Flynn, July 2 2018

Virgin Australia will bring back daily flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong from October 28 2018, with the added appeal of an 11am departure from Melbourne replacing the current 12.30am (yes, that's half-after-midnight) wheels-up.

The new roster sees flight VA69 outbound from Melbourne at 11am every day, up from the current five days a week, to reach Hong Kong at 5.40pm.

The revised VA68 return leg will leave Hong Kong at 7.50pm for an 8.30am arrival into Melbourne the following day.

Virgin's return to a daily Melbourne-Hong Kong service with a late morning departure will sharpen its appeal to business travellers and bring the airline back into the competitive frame against Qantas and Cathay Pacific, although the later still holds the advantage of three daily flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong.

AusBT review: Virgin Australia business class, Melbourne to Hong Kong

Today also marks the beginning of daily Virgin Australia flights from Sydney to Hong Kong as the challenger continues its push into Asia.

However, that daily rhythm from Sydney and Melbourne to Hong Kong also means that two of the airline's six Airbus A330s will now be removed from the domestic east-west route, which will likely see more travellers making the 4-6 hour transcontinental trek on the less comfortable Boeing 737.

Virgin is planning a new Boeing 737 business class – potentially limited to a smaller number of jets dedicated to the east-west or 'Coast to Coast' corridor – which CEO John Borghetti has previously described as a “quantum leap in domestic business class.”

Flights from Brisbane to Hong Kong, or from an Australian capital city to a mainland Chinese destination, are expected to be next on the to-do list for Borghetti, who plans to step down from the role within the next 18 months.

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.

Rod H

Rod H

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 121

Unless VA can come up with a far better Business Class set up on their B737's then they will lose a great deal of the J class market to QF. It won't make a huge difference to Y class as most travellers don't have any idea of the aircraft type type they will fly in whereas a lot of J class travellers do research this and book accordingly. I for one will NOT fly to Perth on a VA B737, I will make my bookings to go through Sydney or Melbourne where and when the A330 does operate the Perth service. The difference is huge between the A330 and the B737. Sad really when one thinks of how good VA J class A330 is to Perth to see it relegated to a mostly vastly inferior B737. Almost make want to try QF but I'm not that desperate yet to want to try the " big boy " on the block. Prefer the battler.

Rod H

Rod H

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 121

I should have prefaced my previous comments by saying that because VA will remove the A330 from most East Coast to Perth flights to operate to A

sia then it will really downgrade the service.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

It'll still have four (of six) aircraft available for transcons, or three if we remove one for maintenance. So I'm not so sure that very flight across the continenat between MEL or SYD and PER on VA will be B738s.

vhtae

vhtae

21 Jan 2018

Total posts 4

Great news. I made a comment on a previous post about VA moving the MEL-HKG flight to a red-eye and how unappealing it’ll be for people as you arrive early and you may encounter when arriving at the hotel that your desired room is not ready for check-in. I flew on the morning departure last year the timing was perfect.

DownSouth

DownSouth

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 106

I don’t understand the comments “most” transcon flight will be downgraded the 737 due MEL and SYD - HK. Looking at it practically 2 of 6 aircraft are required for HK, therefore 4 aircraft of 6 previously an therefore “most” transcon flights will at moment remain 330.

Bob Burgess

Bob Burgess

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 184

I agree, I think that comment is made on the basis of Virgin continuing to send A330s onto new Asian routes, but even then it would take two new daily routes such as BNE-HKG and SYD-PVG to use an example for there to be more than 3 of 6 A330s removed from transcontinental service and therefore qualify as 'most' rather than 'half' in the case of just adding BNE-HKG for example.

comcats2168

comcats2168

17 Nov 2011

Total posts 23

If this is true, it looks like it will be arriving/departing from HKG at exactly the same time as the current SYD flight. Does that mean there will be changes to the flight from SYD?

reeves35

reeves35

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 551

I don't think there will be changes to the SYD schedule. It appears VA has been able to gain or swap slots so it can adjust its Melbourne flight times.

apacau

apacau

02 Jun 2013

Total posts 46

This should actually improve A330 availability for domestic, I would think, as an A330 won't be sitting on the ground in HKG all day 5 days per week any longer. This schedule fully (and now quite efficiently) uses 2 frames, leaving 4 for trans-con.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

As a general comment surely the fairly constant changes to schedules must adversely affect patronage.

This isn't VA's fault necessarily - but it's confusing for passengers and the 'on again, off again' MEL daily v 5 days a week frequency is also far from ideal.

Whether it's a train or a plane, travellers want the certainty of at least a daily timetable. It gives some measure of confidence.

ajobbins

ajobbins

09 Feb 2012

Total posts 20

What's the deal with lounge access at HKG if you're continuing on to Europe on Virgin Atlantic? Doesn't look like VS have a lounge option for Velocity members, by VA do on the return leg?

mickeyg

mickeyg

Virgin Australia - Platinum

26 Jun 2011

Total posts 46

Lounge access is available if flying Upper Class with VS.

VA Plat/Gold does not get you access if flying Premium or Economy.

Rod H

Rod H

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 121

DownSouth. You are quite correct , I really should have not used the word " most " but rather " more services " and thus more pax would be affected as was stated by David in his report-." will likely see more travellers making the 4-6 hour transcontinental trek on the less comfortable Boeing 737." Also Brisbane gets very little of the A330 operation at all so it's via Sydney if you want to travel at a reasonable hour.

thomasindo

thomasindo

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Oct 2017

Total posts 5

may i ask a stupid question? Is there any likelyhood that VA will purchase additional A330's?

cqtiger

cqtiger

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 May 2018

Total posts 11

Pity there is no flights from Brisbane

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