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Qantas shutdown: Virgin Australia boosts flights, taps Etihad & AirNZ to help

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, strikes, Virgin Australia, shutdown

Virgin Australia will schedule additional domestic flights and is also looking to tap partners Air New Zealand, Etihad and Singapore Airlines in an effort to help passengers stranded by yesterday's dramatic Qantas shutdown.

The airline says it will run additional flights today, Sunday October 30, to boost capacity by over 3,000 extra seats between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Karratha and Perth.

Virgin Australia says it is also "in discussions with alliance partners Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Delta Air Lines in regards to adding extra capacity."

Foremost are plans for Etihad Airways to run a 'shuttle service' between Sydney and Melbourne on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, using Etihad aircraft, which would add a further 600 seats per day onto the route.

Some of the other options being explored include:

  • operating Singapore Airlines aircraft "on key domestic routes"
  • using additional Air New Zealand aircraft instead of Virgin Australia aircraft on the trans-Tasman route, which will free up Virgin Australia Boeing 737s to provide extra domestic flights.

As previously reported, Virgin Australia is also offering special discounted “Stranded Passenger" fares – click here for details.


About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 30/10/11 by tronixstuff

SQ Domestic? Awesome!

2 on 30/10/11 by johnnysfo


3 on 30/10/11 by Noob

One would assume these will be Virgin Australia codeshare services e.g. Melbourne to Sydney on SIA metal will operate as Virgin Australia? 

Interesting times, Virgin has acted very fast - well done! 

1 on 30/10/11 by am

Not a codeshare - a wet lease. So it would be a VA flight and flight number but operated on SQ metal/with SQ staff.

1 on 30/10/11 by Noob

Cheers am :)

4 on 30/10/11 by tronixstuff

What are the odds that this will give QF the opportunity to dispose of the 767 fleet (and older 747s) completely and any engineering staff necessary for them? 

1 on 30/10/11 by Noob

Meaning their market share decreasing to the point they no longer need the 767 fleet and older 747s?

2 on 30/10/11 by am

They still need them, and will still need them once this grounding is over in the next couple of days... 20 767s is a big contraction in capacity...


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