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Virgin Australia to operate Canberra-Perth flights during Parliamentary sitting weeks

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 20, 2017

Virgin Australia has announced plans to fly from Perth (pictured) to Canberra during Parliamentary sitting weeks.

Virgin Australia has announced plans to operate twice-weekly between Perth and Canberra during Parliamentary sitting weeks, with the flights to operate on Thursdays and Sundays.

Flights for sitting weeks in August, September, October and December 2017 are now on sale, while flights for 2018 will go on sale once the 2018 Parliamentary sitting calendar is released, the airline said on Thursday.

On Thursdays and Sundays during sitting weeks in August and September Virgin Australia’s flight VA590 will depart Perth at 1235 and arrive at Canberra at 1825, with the return VA589 departing Canberra at 1900 and arriving in Perth at 2140.

On Sundays in sitting weeks in October and December VA590 will depart Perth at 1205 and arrive in Canberra at 1855, with the return VA589 departing Canberra at 1930 and arriving in Perth at 2110.

On Thursdays in sitting weeks in October and December VA590 will depart Perth at 1135 and arrive in Canberra at 1825, with the return VA589 departing Canberra at 1900 and arriving in Perth at 2040.

All flights will be operated by Boeing 737s.

Qantas already operates daily nonstop flights between Canberra and Perth using 737-800s.


The announcement was welcomed by Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron.

“This is great news for Canberrans and for the whole region as it will now offer a choice of carrier when flying to Perth,” Byron said.

“It should also lead to more competitive pricing on the route which will encourage more tourists to visit our city and its surrounds.”


Parliamentary sitting weeks are peak – and hence for airlines and Canberra’s hotels high-yielding – travelling periods as federal politicians, staffers, public servants and lobbyists travel to and from Canberra.

A Virgin Australia 737-800 departs Canberra. (Canberra Airport)

Comments (4)

  • Ian Morris


    Seems like another half-assed effort from Virgin Australia…

  • ButFli


    Curious decision to operate both directions on both days. Canberra traffic is very heavily biased to inbound traffic on Sunday evening and outbound traffic on Thursdays and Fridays. Canberrans may be able to holiday in Perth for a week on the cheap when parliament is sitting.

  • Jarden


    This is a very awkward schedule to book as it will stop start again month after month. Va should just commit to a twice weekly all year schedule. As people will continue to stick with Qantas as they offer far more flexibility.

  • Dave


    Bit of a mixed matched effort? VA needs to set a schedule and stick to it rather than alternating between days, ive noticed they are doing that a lot with different routes at the moment.

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