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Virgin returns to Bali, launches new direct route to Gold Coast

written by Hannah Dowling | June 14, 2022

Virgin Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YFW msn 41037 (Victor Pody)

Virgin Australia has announced a new direct flight between the Gold Coast and Bali, as it prepares to resume flights connecting the popular island holiday destination to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane this week.

Virgin revealed on Tuesday that it will begin a brand-new route connecting the Gold Coast and Bali from 29 March 2023 – ahead of Bali’s dry season and Australia’s winter.

It will mark the first time that any carrier has performed a direct flight connecting the two popular surf destinations.

Baggage-free fares will begin from $399 one-way, and go on sale on Tuesday, Virgin said, with over 2,200 seats on offer per week.

Meanwhile, Virgin will resume its first flights to Bali in over two years on Wednesday with the resumption of its VA65 Sydney-Denpasar service, while flights from Melbourne and Brisbane will both resume on Friday.

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the new Gold Coast to Bali service reflected increasing demand for services to and from the popular Gold Coast Airport.

“We are currently seeing continued growth in travel demand for Gold Coast services and are operating up to 180 domestic flights outbound each week,” Hrdlicka said.

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Notably, Gold Coast Airport was the first major airport to recover to post-COVID levels of passenger traffic, highlighting the strength of the Queensland aerodrome.

“In May alone, our Gold Coast bookings were up 55 per cent compared to 2019, with bookings on our existing Bali flights up 48 per cent for the same period and growing every week,” Hrdlicka said.

“With the addition of the Gold Coast Airport terminal expansion and demand for Bali rising, the time is right to connect these two famous holiday destinations as well as the surf breaks, wellness activities and nightlife that comes with them.”

Meanwhile, Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills welcomed the launch of the Gold Coast-Bali flights, which he said further cemented the connection between Gold Coast Airport and Virgin.

“This service, linking two of the world’s top surf and lifestyle destinations, will be extremely popular with locals,” Mills said.

“We have seen significant growth in Virgin Australia services in and out of Gold Coast Airport through the travel recovery, and this is a clear demonstration of what can happen with a strong partnership.”

It comes after Virgin restarted its short-haul international operations to Fiji last December, and ahead of its planned return to New Zealand later this year.

Virgin is also planning to restart flights to Vanuatu and Samoa from March 2023.

The airline said it will resume its Brisbane-Port Vila (Vanuatu) service from 10 March 2023, with five flights per week, while services connecting Sydney and Samoa will resume on 21 March. Brisbane-Apia (Samoa) will also resume from 23 March.

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