Virgin has announced it will restart its Sydney and Melbourne to Coffs Harbour service in November after it was suspended in April.
NSW has already confirmed intrastate travel will resume when 80 per cent of its state’s residents have been double-vaccinated, while Victoria has suggested it will open its borders at the same point.
The Sydney service will resume on 11 November, followed by the Melbourne service seven days later.
In total, 21 weekly return services will provide 14,500 seats per month to Coffs Harbour, with fares starting from $45. The Melbourne service will run until 25 April 2022.
Virgin’s chief strategy officer, Alistair Hartley, said, “We know many travellers, particularly those from New South Wales and Victoria, will be excited to experience the freedom to travel again and our flights will not only provide an opportunity to explore more of our wonderful country, but to reunite with friends and family in time for the summer holidays.”
It comes as both Qantas and Virgin gear up for domestic borders to reopen and lockdowns to end.
Last month, Virgin launched a domestic airfare sale which offered one-way economy fares between Sydney and Byron Bay from just $49, while Jetstar launched a similar flash sale for flights from Melbourne to Sydney, Newcastle and Byron Bay and Avalon to Sydney.
Virgin has also announced it will make vaccines mandatory for customer-facing staff by 15 November and office-based employees by 31 March.
Virgin Australia chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said inoculations are “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.
“We know that some team members have questions and concerns about vaccinations. Through an internal campaign of education with qualified experts, we aim to inform and assure as many of our team members as possible.
“We trust medical experts, their advice and the evidence that shows that vaccines save lives and reduce hospitalisation rates.
“Virgin Australia recognises the critical imperative to get the broader community vaccinated and will launch a competition this week to encourage as many people as we can to roll up their sleeves. We are also supportive of government-led measures to ensure travellers are vaccinated.”
New Virgin Cross Harbour schedule