Curtain falls on Virgin’s Melbourne-Los Angeles service

File image of a Virgin Australia 777-300ER at LAX.
File image of a Virgin Australia 777-300ER at LAX.

Virgin Australia has operated its final Melbourne-Los Angeles flight and commenced daily Brisbane-Los Angeles service as the airline consolidates its Boeing 777-300ER operations at two local hubs.

The last flight to depart Melbourne for Los Angeles was VA23 operated by VH-VOZ – the first 777 to enter Virgin’s fleet – which took off from Tullamarine on Saturday October 25 at 1222 local time.

It landed at Los Angeles 13 hours and 34 minutes later at 0756 local time. There was no return service to Melbourne.

The end of Virgin’s three times a week Melbourne-Los Angeles service means the airline will operate its fleet of five 777s from Sydney to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi and from Brisbane to Los Angeles.

Virgin’s withdrawal on the Melbourne to Los Angeles route comes as Tullamarine gets set to welcome the first United Boeing 787-9 direct service at about 0800 Tuesday. UA98, operated by United’s 787-9 registration N38950, was due to depart Los Angeles on Sunday night local time.

Qantas was also adding extra flights between the Victorian capital and Los Angeles, boosting its daily service to 10 times weekly from December 17.

In further comings and goings at Melbourne, Tullamarine bade farewell to Singapore Airline’s daily Airbus A380 service on Sunday. As previously announced, SIA will switch one of its four daily flights from Melbourne to Singapore from the double-decker superjumbo to a Boeing 777-300ER.

However, SIA said recently the A380 will return to Melbourne in September 2015.

Meanwhile, SIA’s first A380 flight to Auckland was scheduled to depart Singapore 2050 local time as SQ285 on Monday.

SIA has ended A380 service to Melbourne until September 2015. (Rob Finlayson)
SIA has ended A380 services to Melbourne until September 2015. (Rob Finlayson)

Comments

  1. reverend says

    it is a shame virgin pulled out of Melbourne they should pull out of Brisbane and fly from Melbourne to Los angeles Daily

  2. Daniel says

    It is a shame Virgin has dropped Melbourne, Especially when they want to compete so much with Qantas on being Airline for Australia. As a loyal Virgin customer and have travelled with virgin each time to USA, have now lost me to United and the 787-9

  3. Anna Maria says

    Couldn’t see Virgin competing against Qantas’s A380 and United’s 787-9 anyway I’d say a smart move nonetheless.

  4. Mark says

    Why should they have pulled out of Brisbane Reverend? You don’t think John Borghetti and his team did market research before this change was announced?

  5. David says

    Disappointing move by Virgin to drop international service from Melbourne – the Virgin’s international network just shrunk by ~20%. United has been servicing Melbourne for a long time and it will no doubt consider opening the MEL-SFO route in the near future.