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Virgin relaunches Brisbane flights to Emerald and Alice Springs

written by Adam Thorn | October 28, 2020
Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800
A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 departs Brisbane Airport in 2019 (Craig Murray)

Virgin Australia is set to reintroduce Brisbane services to Emerald and Alice Springs in November alongside increasing capacity on other routes.

The airline will also now provide 10 services per week between the Queensland capital and Hamilton Island and eight between Sydney and Byron Bay.

Virgin Australia’s group chief commercial officer, John MacLeod, said the services will “help the tourism industry get back on its feet”.

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The services in full are:

  • Brisbane-Hamilton Island – Ten services per week from 9 November
  • Brisbane-Adelaide – Up to three services daily from 16 November
  • Brisbane-Alice Springs (route relaunch) – Two services per week from 3 November
  • Brisbane-Emerald* (route relaunch) – Five services per week from 23 November
  • Sydney-Ballina Byron – Eight services per week from 9 November
  • Sydney-Adelaide – Up to three services daily from 16 November

The news comes after Virgin last week offered sale tickets from Sydney to Brisbane and Melbourne in late November – despite the border between the states remaining shut.

While the airline is offering free and unlimited booking changes, the move will put pressure on Queensland, NSW and Victoria to begin to lift border restrictions.

Queensland opened up to NSW on 10 July but closed to Sydney on 1 August, while the NSW-Victoria border shut earlier on 6 July.

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Meanwhile, on Tuesday, former Labor Queensland premier Peter Beattie called on the state to open its borders ahead of Saturday’s election.

“Queensland has to have an economy to grow,” Beattie told the Today program. “A lot of people are leaving Brisbane and going into the regions. That’s great. Same is happening in NSW. But there is a loss in the major cities and that’s largely where our population is.”

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