UPDATE | Virgin Australia's daily flights between Sydney and Hong Kong will launch on Monday July 2, 2018, and are now on sale – read our story for full details.
PREVIOUS | Virgin Australia will begin daily flights between Sydney and Hong Kong from the middle of 2018.
The flights will run on the airline's Airbus A330 jets featuring its highly-regarded The Business business class, and follows the launch of Melbourne-Hong Kong in late 2017, although those flights are being trimmed back to five days a week.
The service will also offer onwards connections to Virgin Atlantic Airway’s flights to London, offering a new Virginesque spin on the Kangaroo Route – although there's quite some hours to be spent at Hong Kong airport between the late afternoon arrival of the Virgin Australia flight and the near-midnight departure of the Virgin Atlantic flight.
Here is Virgin Australia's Sydney-Hong Kong schedule, for which the airline says tickets will "go on sale soon":
- VA89 departs Sydney at 10am, arriving into Hong Kong at 5.40pm
- VA88 departs Hong Kong at 7.50pm, arriving into Sydney at 7.10am the next day
This timetable put the challenger smack against the mid-morning Sydney departures of incumbents Qantas and Cathay Pacific, both of which are sure to unleash a sharply competitive response to Virgin's arrival on what has to date been almost a monopoly route for the Oneworld airlines.
“The new Sydney-Hong Kong service will link two global destinations and will allow Virgin Australia to further access the fastest growing and most valuable Australian inbound market, China, with our alliance partner Hong Kong Airlines" says Virgin Australia Group CEO, John Borghetti.
Meanwhile, a revised timetable for Melbourne-Hong Kong shows flights being dropped from Wednesdays and Fridays – a move which Borghetti says is related to availability of slots at the busy Hong Kong airport.
"It's purely a slot issue," he said, adding that ticket sales on the service were strong and the route "was performing very well... it's being very strongly supported at both ends."