Virgin cuts flying by a quarter as Omicron hits crew and travel demand

Virgin Australia has cancelled almost one-in-four of its flights scheduled for January and February as the Omicron COVID-19 outbreak disrupts crew availability and dents travel demand.

The airline said it would operate reduced frequency on busy routes and temporarily suspend 10 routes from late January, as it continues to lose staff who are forced into isolation due to COVID-19 rules.

Virgin said COVID isolation requirements have wreaked havoc on staff availability.
Virgin said COVID isolation requirements have wreaked havoc on staff availability. Credit:Kate Geraghty

“Virgin Australia is dedicated to the communities that we serve and will resume these flights as soon as possible,” Virgin chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said in a statement.

“Although we don’t know when this wave will pass, we do know that as we make the shift to living
with COVID-19 there will continue to be changes in all our lives.

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to any guest impacted by the changes to our flight schedule during this time.”

Virgin said it welcomed moves by the NSW and Queensland governments to allow some essential workers who are close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases to leave isolation early, and was working with governments to have that extended to aviation workers.

The airline said that in the majority of cases, customers whose flights are cancelled will be moved on to alternative services.

The 10 routes that have been suspended from January 24 onwards include Virgin’s only international route, Sydney-Fiji.

The full list of suspended routes is:

Adelaide – Darwin
Adelaide – Cairns
Adelaide – Sunshine Coast
Coffs Harbour – Melbourne
Hamilton Island – Melbourne
Sydney – Townsville
Melbourne – Townsville
Gold Coast – Launceston
Gold Coast – Hobart
Sydney – Fiji

More to come

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Source: Thanks