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Virgin Australia: Melbourne-Perth goes 'all A330' from September

By David Flynn     Filed under: sydney, perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Airbus A330, Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia will upgrade its Melbourne-Perth 'Coast to Coast' flights into an exclusively Airbus 330-only service from September 21.

Virgin says that A330s will also continue to run on three out of four daily Sydney-Perth flights, while Brisbane-Perth will move to three weekday services operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft fitted with business class.

Virgin Australia will also upgrade in-flight service to include a hot meal and drinks (including alcohol, from midday) plus free inflight entertainment for all passengers – yes, even if you're travelling on the cheapest economy ticket – on transcontinental flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Perth, on both the A330s and 737s.

The move closes the gap between Virgin and Qantas in terms of offering 'full service' on the cross-country trek.

“Enhancing the travel experience from the East Coast to Perth is an important part of our strategy to become the airline of choice in Australia" said Merren McArthur, Virgin Australia's head of Alliances, Network and Yield.

“We have listened to our guests and we understand that consistency of product and services, a competitive schedule and inclusive catering and entertainment make a real difference on these longer journeys."


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 15/8/12 by KG

Good news they are upgrading to almost exlcusive A330 for coast to coast. I have flown the stretch in business and am very impressed, for me the only way to get accross the country. However, is there any information on which flights will have te refurbished EK planes and which will feature the factory fresh ones? Are the flights "fixed" or do the aircraft rotate?

1 on 15/8/12 by tronixstuff

You need to watch the aircraft rotations with VA source or flightradar24 for a few days in advance. Online seat selection at T-14 days is the best chance of indication, however a sub is always possible. 

1 on 15/8/12 by KG

Thansk tronixstuff, it is what I did previuosly (check online seat selection) but as you said, subs are always possible. Last time the seatmap changed 3 times on me (luckily ending up with the new plane)

2 on 15/8/12 by here2go

I wonder if flights to DRW will get the same treatment? MEL-DRW is further than MEL-PER.

1 on 15/8/12 by CL9

Sadly, I doubt it. East Coast- Perth is a ridiculously profitiable route with huge volumes of traffic, while Darwin is no where as proitable or has anywhere near as much demand. I agree that longer flights should have a better product, but that isn't the reason why Virgin Australia have chosen to upgrade their Perth services.

3 on 15/8/12 by Charles

They keep stepping up to the plate. I really wish they would upgrade business on the older A330's as they are a real dissapointment after you have flown on the factory fresh A330.

1 on 3/1/13 by aero-seat

I agree! You experienced state-of-the-art treatment on its newer version but then you go on the older ones and you feel it's horrible. John Borghetti wants a young fleet of modern aircraft so hopefully the older ones are exited within the next few years and new planes come!

4 on 15/8/12 by aero-seat

Good news to hear that! It's good that you are giving travellers a premium product on this long flight with the new seats and even economy guests benefit with the new in-flight service. It's basically something for international long haul operations. I wonder if they will do this for its international short haul and domestic flights. It would really be neck-to-neck if they continue like this. Keep up the good work, Virgin!

5 on 3/1/13 by ezihose

Virgin need to drop the A330's from Perth Melb and put as many as they can on the Perth Sydney and Perth Brisbane. Perth to Melb is a short flight and the others are longer and should have the better planes. Melb is not what you would call a Business capital! Sydney, Brisbane and Perth are now the business power houses. 737's will do fine for short flights like Perth Melb.

1 on 3/1/13 by aero-seat

That is very arguable, ezihouse. Melbourne is considered the entertainment capital of Australia and houses some of the country's best hotels and facilities. Brisbane is growing but currently there is only 3 flights from Brisbane - Perth a day, compared to Melbourne which had 6 flights to Perth before they introduced A330s. I understand that Brisbane to Perth is longer but the distribution of aircraft domestically is usually based on capacity requirements rather than distance, although distance is sometimes used to calculate.


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