Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Virgin Australia unveils plan for scaled-down future

Virgin Australia has unveiled its plan to become a stronger, more profitable and competitive airline as it comes out of voluntary administration under the ownership of Bain Capital.

Under the reboot released today, Virgin 2.0 will:

  • move to an all-Boeing 737 mainline fleet for domestic and short haul international operations, which will see the removal of ATR, Boeing 777, Airbus A330 and Tigerair Airbus A320 aircraft
  • retain its regional and charter fleet while it reviews different operating models to support continued regional and charter flying
  • continue to suspend flights to Los Angeles and Tokyo with the intention to recommence and grow long-haul flights when sufficient demand returns
  • discontinue the Tigerair Australia brand but retain its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to provide the option for ultra-low-cost operations in the future
  • aim to be the “best value” carrier in the market, not a “low cost” carrier
  • continue to serve both business and leisure travellers with a two-class cabin offering (economy and business class)
  • maintain a network of lounges in key domestic locations with a plan to re-open them when demand returns
  • expand its current flight network as demand returns
  • invest significantly in the “comprehensive digital re-platforming of both the airline and Velocity Frequent Flyer program”
  • carry forward all travel credits and Velocity Frequent Flyer points. Credits for bookings made prior to administration will be extended to 31 July 2022 for travel until 30 June 2023 (further info will be provided to customers in due course).

While it’s encouraging to see the airline provide more information about its future plans, many of the key details customers want to know are missing.

What exactly will the travel experience look like, both on the ground and in the air, post-Covid?

Which domestic and international routes does it see as being viable over the longer term?

We’ll just have to wait and see.

After so many years of financial mismanagement and poor strategic decisions, at least there’s some light at the end of the tunnel for both the airline and its loyal customers.

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  1. Shame about the A330’S being ditched. Hate the middle seat on A320’s & 737’s even short haul (broad shoulders). I always give my wife the window seat. Still, Virgin remains viable so far. Not only to keep Qantas in check price wise but we always use them for their Melb- Port Stephens flights. In the past We even managed a few upgrades to business for just $40 pp. (Better than paying for extra legroom) I imagine that will now be a thing of the past. Still, we need 2 airlines for competition. Thanks for the High Life emails. Look forward to them.

  2. So much invested in VA’s A330 seating and entertainment fit out for comfortable services coast to coast. Very shortsighted to ditch A330s when the market is rock bottom for lease negotiations. However with Scurrah and Hrdlicka constantly spruiking an all 737 fleet, there seems to be little hope that the economics of operating some A330s will be revisited. Have they costed the loss of regular customers who will not travel on an uncomfortable 737 for a 4 hour flight?


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