Virgin Australia branching out across two oceans

Virgin Australia has announced plans to spread its wings east across the Pacific Ocean and West across the Indian ocean in a double wave of expansion.


From 2017, five new long-haul flights will be operated by the airline direct to LA from Melbourne and three new ones will run to Abu Dhabi from Perth.


These new routes come at the expense of the tri-weekly Sydney-Abu Dhabi flights, which will no longer run. The number of flights between Brisbane and LA will also be cut down to 6 rather than 7 per week to accommodate the new schedule.


Delta Air Lines will codeshare on the Melbourne-LA flights and Virgin are joining forces with Etihad on the Perth-Abu Dhabi flights


John Borghetti, Virgin Australia’s group CEO, talked of the importance of this new set of flights in the airline’s offering.


“The United States is a key market for Virgin Australia and this enables us to service Los Angeles from the three biggest gateways in Australia – Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.


“In partnership with Delta Air Lines, we will soon offer 25 services each week from Australia to Los Angeles and remain the only trans-Pacific alliance to offer business class guests lie flat beds with direct aisle access on all services. Our A330 aircraft will be deployed on a long-haul international route for the first time on flights between Perth and Abu Dhabi, which increases the number of services offered on the route from seven to 10 per week through our alliance with Etihad Airways,” he said.


April is the month that the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will start heading out of Melbourne to LA. The Perth-Abu Dhabi service, meanwhile, will run on an Airbus A330-200 three times a week starting from early June.