Virgin Australia will join Qantas in catering to the sharply-defined "WA-based Federal Politician" market with the launch of flights between Canberra and Perth.
The pollies, their partners and staffers – a group which includes 28 of Australia's 226 Federal members and senators, among them Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Minister for Employment and Women Michaelia Cash, along with three more ministers and two Liberal Party whips – will now have the option to fly with Virgin instead of Qantas when Parliamentary is sitting.
Virgin offers those politicians membership to its exclusive The Club, which goes head to head with the Qantas Chairman's Lounge – and of course, both have invitation-only private lounges at Canberra and Perth.
Virgin's new services will run on a Boeing 737 aircraft under the following schedule:
During Parliamentary sitting weeks in August and September 2017, on Thursdays and Sundays, VA590 will depart Perth at 12.35pm and arrive in Canberra at 6.25pm; with VA589 departing Canberra at 7pm to reach Perth at 9.40pm.
In sitting weeks between October 2017 and December 2017, Sundays will see VA590 departing Perth at 12.05pm and arriving into Canberra at 6.55pm, withVA589 out of Canberra at 7.30pm to reach Perth at 9.10pm.
On Thursdays, VA590 is wheels-up from Perth at 11.35am to arrive into Canberra at 6.25pm; VA589 heads out of Canberra at 7pm for a 8.40pm touchdown in Perth.
Virgin Australia also offers direct flights from Canberra to Adelaide, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney.