Virgin Australia’s new CEO Paul Scurrah made several interesting comments at the company’s annual meeting today, including that the airline will axe its Melbourne-Hong Kong flights amid ongoing unrest in the region. It will continue to operate Sydney-Hong Kong flights.

By ending the Melbourne-Hong Kong route, Virgin will free up an A330 to operate the new Brisbane-Tokyo (Haneda) flights that we’ve known for a while it plans to launch in late March 2020.

The final Melbourne-Hong Kong flights will take off on 10 February 2020. It seems likely that passengers with existing bookings after that date will have the option to re-route via Sydney.

Cutting capacity to Hong Kong has been rumoured ever since visitor numbers started falling precipitously and the airline confirmed plans to launch its new Brisbane-Tokyo (Haneda) service.

Mr Scurrah said the Melbourne-Hong Kong route, which only launched in mid-2017, “has continued to underperform in line with the political landscape and we feel it’s best served through Sydney.”

To help bring the airline back to profitability, Mr Scurrah also said that the company would:

  • cut domestic capacity by at least 2% in 2020
  • adjust route networks and timings for both Virgin and its budget brand Tigerair to focus on profitable routes and reduce duplication
  • remove two A320s from Tiger’s fleet and three Fokker 100s from Virgin’s regional fleet.

More information about Virgin’s new Brisbane-Tokyo flights, including a codeshare and frequent flyer partnership with All Nippon Airways, should be announced soon.

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