Virgin Australia to launch Melbourne-Hong Kong flights on July 5

By David Flynn, March 20 2017
Virgin Australia to launch Melbourne-Hong Kong flights on July 5

Virgin Australia has confirmed a July 5 launch of direct flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong. Click here for full details.

PREVIOUS | Virgin Australia is expected to announce the start of flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong this week after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today granted an 'interim authorisation' to an alliance between Virgin, stakeholder HNA Aviation Group, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express.

While Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti has played his cards close to his chest when it comes to which Australian city would anchor the Hong Kong flights, draft schedules exposed through Google – although not confirmed by the airline – now list daily flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong.

An estimated 140 crew recruited for Virgin's domestic operations are being moved to the airline's international arm and will be based in Melbourne, according to a Virgin Australia employee with knowledge of the plans.

That number is reportedly twice as many as are required for the relaunched Melbourne-Los Angeles service, which commences on April 4, with the airline "advertising for domestic flight attendants to transfer to Virgin International" for Hong Kong flights slated to begin in June.

Melbourne has long been tipped for the route, which will see Virgin going up against incumbents Qantas and Cathay Pacific as the challenger spreads its international wings.

Virgin plan to fly Airbus A330 jets on the route, tempting corporate travellers with the promise of modern and spacious business class seats with direct aisle access for every passenger.

The ACCC's interim authorisation also covers proposed flights "between Australia and mainland China".

The granting of interim approval will allow Virgin to press the button on its planned expansion into Hong Kong and China, with connections and codeshare flights through HNA, Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express along with reciprocal agreements for frequent flyer programs and lounge access.

In a statement issued following the ACCC's decision, Virgin Australia said it "will announce further details on the route, on sale date and when flights will commence soon."


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.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 113

How exciting! CX announcing more A350 flights and now possibly this! Much love for Melbourne now :) QF might need to start re-fitting their 747's that they place on the route!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

26 Feb 2016

Total posts 97

They should announce it before 31/Mar, or it will become the next salary-packaging year. In other words, many people have to spend thousands of dollars in 10 days or they will be taxed.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 362

How long will they last on this route before they pull out like they normally do?

28 May 2016

Total posts 128

Probably 12 months. Then they'll restart PER-AUH, can it after 6 months then restart MEL-HKG. :P

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 378

Argh enough with the teasing. Just announce it already

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 388

Will VA offer competitive fares in J and Y to nearby airports like MNL, CEB, PVG and TPE among others?  Which airlines will travellers use to non-mainland Chinese destinations to connect to or from VA?

17 May 2016

Total posts 6

Be great if they would release the sales or release more details today 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2016

Total posts 108

CX and QF should start codesharibg again to ensure VA doesn't take a huge chuck from the market.

11 Jun 2016

Total posts 14

Flying BNE-PER in a 737 would suck so bad

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