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Virgin releases 1.7m sale fares across domestic and international networks

written by Hannah Dowling | October 25, 2021
BOEING 737 800 VIRGIN AUSTRALIA MEL OCT17 RF 5K5A3203 2
A Virgin Australia 737 800 flies past a rainbow in Melbourne. (Rob Finlayson)

Virgin Australia has released over one million new sale fares across dozens of routes on its domestic and international networks ahead of easing border restrictions and the approaching summer holidays.

With 1.7 million fares on sale, the airline said this is its biggest sale on record, with domestic fares starting at $49 one-way, and international fares from $229.

In fact, travellers will be able to book tickets between Sydney and Fiji from $229, Melbourne and Bali from $279, and Brisbane and Queenstown from $287 one-way.

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Domestic fares begin at $49 for flights between Coffs Harbour and Sydney, while a seat from Sydney to Byron Bay will set you back $55.

Flights between Melbourne and the Gold Coast start at $89, while Virgin’s new direct flights between Adelaide and Launceston begin at $85 one-way.

The sale begins on Monday and ends midnight AEST on 1 November 2021.

Virgin Australia Group chief commercial officer Dave Emerson said the airline is excited to launch one of its largest sales on record ahead of the holiday season.

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“Australian travellers have never been more excited to travel again, and Virgin Australia is proud to help them reunite with friends and family or visit that dream holiday destination,” said Emerson.

“Today we have launched one of the largest sales in Virgin Australia history, with 1.7 million seats available from just $49,” he said.

“We are making it irresistible for Australians to return to the skies this summer, with some of the best value airfares in the market, an expanded network of flights, including 12 new services launched in the last month, and world-class customer service,” Emerson added.

“Virgin Australia and our wonderful team members have never been stronger or more ready to fly, and we can’t wait to welcome Australian travellers back onboard, as they embark on new adventures this summer.”

Last week, Virgin announced its new partnership with the Queensland government to encourage Queenslanders to take a holiday in their home state before the end of the year.

Under the new partnership, economy fares connecting Brisbane and a number of key Queensland holiday destinations, including Cairns, Whitsunday Coast, Hamilton Island and Townsville, will be on offer from just $75 one-way.

Discounted fares will be available from 18 October to 31 October for travel up to 12 December 2021, unless sold out prior.

The sales follow the announcement, made by Virgin chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka last week, that the airline will not mandate vaccinations for its passengers on domestic flights.

Hrdlicka said the issue was instead a “matter for government”, and the carrier would follow any rules implemented by states.

The business previously revealed it would make COVID jabs mandatory for customer-facing staff by 15 November and office-based employees by 31 March.

Speaking at the Flight Centre’s Illuminate conference, Hrdlicka called the decision “difficult” because the company can only have certainty over its own staff.

“I suspect some states will require only vaccinated travellers to move between states, and we will absolutely support any government requirement,” Hrdlicka said.

“But it’s not on us to mandate that ourselves. It’s really a matter for the government. So, we stand ready to implement and we think it makes sense to do that. We stand ready to work with the governments on how to make that practical and realistic.”

Hrdlicka added that the situation would likely be different for international travel, where COVID jabs would be “a must-have”.

Vaccinations are set to be effectively mandatory for travelling into Australia next month, with NSW scrapping the expensive hotel quarantine for those who have been fully inoculated against coronavirus from 1 November.

Hrdlicka previously hailed jabs as “the only way back to normal freedom of movement” and the “only solution to the situation Australia currently finds itself in”.

“The majority of our team at Virgin Australia are already vaccinated, and we will be listening to our team members to ensure we find the best fit policy for our organisation,” she said.

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