Virgin Australia to launch Newcastle-Auckland flights

By David Flynn, July 18 2018

Virgin Australia will begin flying from Newcastle to Auckland from November this year, with the new seasonal route tapping into demand over the summer period.

A Boeing 737 with eight business class seats, 30 Economy X seats and 138 standard economy seats will make the three hour trip every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 22 November 2018 to 17 February 2019.

Flight VA199 will depart from Newcastle Airport at 7.30pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, reaching Auckland at 12.25am the following day.

The VA198 return leg will be wheels-up from Auckland at 5.10pm and arrive into Newcastle at 6.45pm.

Flights will be on sale at the Virgin Australia website from today, with the airline saying it will consider extending the Newcastle-Auckland service further into 2019 based on demand.

The route signals the start of a second wave of expansion for Virgin's trans-Tasman network since the airline announced it would part ways with one-time ally Air New Zealand on October 28, 2018.

Virgin Australia is launching new routes between Sydney and Wellington and between Melbourne and Queenstown from October this year, with extra flights also being added to Auckland from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Read more: Virgin Australia launches Queenstown, Wellington flights

Air New Zealand has since inked a codeshare alliance with Qantas to take effect from October 28, although this will be restricted to each airline's domestic routes and not cover the hotly-contested trans-Tasman corridor, which seens an estimated 2.8 million travellers shuttle between Australia and New Zealand each year.

The alliance will see Qantas stamp its QF code onto 30 domestic AirNZ services across New Zealand, while the Kiwi carrier will in turn plant its NZ prefix on 85 domestic Qantas flight in Australia.

Qantas and Air New Zealand business class passengers and top-tier frequent flyers will enjoy reciprocal airport lounge access, while travellers will also be able to earn points and status credits in each airline's respective loyalty program on flights booked under the appropriate codeshare.

Also read: Here are three ways Virgin Australia intends to win against Air New Zealand

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.

flyOFTEN

flyOFTEN

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

why did NZ pull out of the AKL/NTL back in 2003 ?

Mitchd31

Mitchd31

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 15

It was operated by then ANZ owned LCC airline Freedom Air from memory and due to not enough demand

Top gun

Top gun

18 Jul 2018

Total posts 2

Freedom only sold direct to public so travel trade never supported. This was before the likes of Jetstar were around and direct sell became the domestic norm

flyOFTEN

flyOFTEN

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

was around Newcastle around the time of Freedom Air flying into NTL & no virtually all the travel agents anywhere near NTL not only didn't sell Freedom Air, they neglected to mention it at all to clients, or worse still, bagged the hell out of it. Think some of them used to make a few $$$ out of the transfers to SYD as well.

There's also the frequent flyer effect. Some people will pay more, a lot more sometimes to get a few frequent flyer points. Crazy when many people earn far more ff pts from their credit cards, than from flying.

mspcooper

mspcooper

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 116

They could do MCY-AKL to compete against ANZ in winter once their relationship ceases?

flyOFTEN

flyOFTEN

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

MCY/CHC or MCY/ZQN probably makes more sense in winter

mspcooper

mspcooper

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 116

AirNZ flies MCY to AKL in Winter. Ofcourse, MCY to CHC/ZQN would be welcome but these services would not be competing with AirNZ

flyOFTEN

flyOFTEN

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

why would VA want to compete with NZ ?

flyOFTEN

flyOFTEN

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

looks like fares start at AUD$310 return per adult, which is great when you consider govt charges are around AUD$180

Top gun

Top gun

18 Jul 2018

Total posts 2

Article in local media said $350 each way

downdata

downdata

28 Dec 2016

Total posts 69

Ok maybe they should consider SYD-CHC?

jginpil

jginpil

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Feb 2012

Total posts 31

what about Canberra?! when will that ever happen?

xtfer

xtfer

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 127

And still nothing out of Canberra...

Greensides1

Greensides1

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 5

This gets the record for the best beat up of the week!

Why is 500 seats in each direction really worthwhile at a time when tourist venues in the Hunter, Hunter valley and the Central Coast have the "house full" signs up.

All this is a seasonal use 3 days per week for a lazy 737-800. If anyone is conned that this is Newcastle Airport going International are dreaming. the Commonwealth and State Governments were induced to make NTL International compatible. 3 days per week is a worthless schedule.

Mightyreds

Mightyreds

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 266

Better than nothing and at least they are giving it a trial. Don’t know unless you try.

Ryan K

Ryan K

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 303

Great news for Newcastle and Auckland. I wonder how long it will be until we see a carrier announce flights between Auckland and Hobart?

docsimonm

docsimonm

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 14

That’s exciting news for us Novocastrians!!!

deegee93

deegee93

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

27 Jan 2017

Total posts 7

Such good news for Newcastle. I often fly NTL-BNE to get to my final destination rather than go from Sydney. Personally I would consider NTL-AKL then to LAX in the future as an alternative to SYD-LAX or NTL-BNE-LAX

flyOFTEN

flyOFTEN

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

NTL/AKL & AKL/LAX don't connect with NTL/AKL arriving back in AKL just after midnight, it mean all day in AKL

deegee93

deegee93

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

27 Jan 2017

Total posts 7

Dammit should've looked into that first before I got my hopes up.

GBRGB

GBRGB

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 222

Great to see another regional city get direct access to international flights, they have been taking about flights here in TSV to AKL for years but zero results so well done Newcastle for making these a reality.

flyOFTEN

flyOFTEN

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

GBRGB it's not like it's the 1st time there were NTL/AKL/NTL nonstops

patrickk

patrickk

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 405

This discussion and the comments in general loves talking in code. Why not spell out the cities and save us looking them up. Apart from the ones I use on a regular basis eg CBR and SYD I would not have a clue what most of this discussion is thanking about. Posts should be clear to all in my mind just sayin

THR

THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 59

You should only need to look up each one you don't know once. Then you're forever informed.

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2337

Patrickk, I agree that this can be mystifying to many people not of that ilk, which is why on Australian Business Traveller articles we never use three-letter airport codes (with the exception of LAX) and almost never use two-letter airline codes, so that our stories are immediately accessible to and understood by the mainstream. However, many readers posting comments adopt this form of 'shorthand' out of convenience and because it's almost second nature if not a second language to them.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

Sensible policy, but many of the airline codes are pretty easy to decipher. MEL, SYD, BNE, ADL, PER, CNS and DRW fit into that: HBA may be a bit harder since many might expect it to be 'HBT.'

'OOL' is probably hard for many to work out, as might be 'AYQ.' or 'ABX', while 'TMW' falls somewhere in the middle, perhaps slightly to the harder end of the comprehensibility scale. In contrast, 'ARM' is easy while 'MQL' is not.


At the other end of the scale are YYZ and YVR that (particularly in relation to the first) bear no relation to the city name. And nowadays, while I like it being retained 'PEK' may be confusing to many who know it only as 'Beijing', or 'SGN' for Ho Chi Minh City.

It wasn't possible for every airport to just use the first three letters of its city/town/locality name, sadly.

kiwiwings

kiwiwings

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 79

It's really not that much different from say AKL-OOL or AKL-MCY when there is AKL-BNE as well.


Fingers crossed it succeeds. Not far down to SYD either if the price is cheaper than flying into NTL.

flyOFTEN

flyOFTEN

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

the big difference comparing AKL to OOL or MCY is both OOL & MCY are within 90 mins drive of BNE. NTL to SYD is more like 2.5 hours.

But if you lived north of MCY or south of OOL, the difference in travel times would be greater, so MCY & OOL would be more convenient in these cases.

BTW plenty of Brisbanites drive to OOL to catch Air Asia X widebodies flights OOL/AKL, with fares as low as AUD$196 return inc govt charges of AUD$180 (for a family of 4 say, it can make a huge difference, cf. BNE/AKL fares)

Conversely if you lived between NTL & SYD (not just a little bit south of NTL) you might weigh up the airfares differences, but in most cases, the convenience of a nonstop flight NTL/AKL would win out, even if the fares were slightly more than the SYD/AKL fares.

Maybe if the latest NTL/AKL nonstop flights are a success VA will look at connections, such as linking up with NZ flights to LAX, SFO, YVR, ORD & Pacific Islands etc. + maybe there might be a AKL/NTL/PER or another VA flight NTL/some other Australian port.

flyOFTEN

flyOFTEN

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

maybe the smart way to go, would be for NTL to organise coach transfers "FREE" to place like the Hunter etc. or some point between NTL & SYD such as Gosford or somewhere else on the central coast, with a few stops, that meet flights in both directions.

This would highlight the convenience of NTL & further down the track, the coach transfers could continue, just not free, but maybe at cost.

The coach company could be offered some "free" flights NTL/AKL/NTL. It would be nice to think the flights will fill easily, but realistically, outside of school holidays some flights won't fill.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

Why use road coaches subject to freeway and other delays, and uncomfortable, when there's the Sydney Airport train and connecting frequent Gosford and Newcastle trains that do the job and as a bonus offer more beautiful scenery than seen from the road, especially if there's a heavy vehicle in front of the cramped coach?

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