Virgin Australia will hand over some of its international leisure routes to low-cost arm Tigerair Australia in a bid to boost its bottom line, while axing its Perth-Phuket flights on January 31, 2016.
All-economy Tigerair flights will move onto services from Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth to Denpasar (Bali) from March 23, 2016, marking an international debut for the previously domestic-only airline.
The Tigerair flights will use three Boeing 737-800 aircraft from the Virgin Australia hangars, which will be reconfigured and rebranded in Tigerair livery, instead of the shorter-range Airbus A320s which currently rule the Tigerair fleet.
The make-over will include five rows of 'extra legroom seats' – 18 at the front of the cabin, and 12 at the exit rows – offered to passengers as a cost-extra option.
There will also be "a mix of free and paid wireless inflight entertainment for use on passenger’s own devices."
Virgin Australia will continue to fly to Denpasar from Sydney, Brisbane and Port Hedland using its own Boeing 737 aircraft: offering travellers the option of business class seats and service in addition to economy.
While Tigerair Australia is fully-owned by Virgin Australia, it has long been absent from the Velocity Frequent Flyer program with travellers unable to earn or redeem points on Tigerair flights.
That remains largely the case, although Velocity members will be able to redeem their points on Tigerair's new Denpasar flights, but will not be able to earn points on any Tigerair flights, nor redeem them on other Tigerair routes.
But more flights to NZ
As part of Virgin Australia's international shake-up, its own Sydney-Christchurch route will increase by two services per week from October 25 2015, with Melbourne-Christchurch getting a weekly boost from November 6 2015.
Seasonal changes are also being made on flights from Brisbane to Apia, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Honiara, Nadi (Fiji) and Wellington: in most cases increasing by one return service each week over the peak Australian summer travel period.
Virgin will today report an annual statutory loss after tax of $93.8 million, a $261.8m improvement on the $355.6m loss in the previous year.
On a stand-alone basis, Tigerair Australia reported an underlying loss before tax of $8.6m versus a loss of $25.8m a year earlier.
Also read: Virgin Australia boosts Boeing 737 MAX order
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