Virgin Australia has pushed back its planned resumption of international travel, however, there’s still hope flights to Fiji and Indonesia will take off before the year comes to an end.
The airline giant reassessed its network after forecasts released in this week’s Federal budget outlined new predictions for traveling overseas.
While delivering this year’s budget, Treasurer Josh Frydenbeg said international travel is expected to remain low until at least mid-2022.
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As a result, Virgin confirmed they will be deferring most short-haul international flights, including to Fiji and Indonesia, until at least December 2021.
“While we know some Australians are itching to travel overseas, it is clear that international travel won’t return to normal as quickly as first anticipated,” Virgin’s chief strategy and transformation officer Alistair Hartley said.
“We’re being realistic about restarting short-haul international flying, and have today delayed services to the Pacific, and to Bali, Indonesia until at least December.”
Hartley said services to Vanuatu, Samoa and the Solomon Islands have been deferred indefinitely, alongside all services to New Zealand apart from Queenstown.
“Although we’ve seen positive developments with the trans-Tasman travel bubble and Governments working exceptionally well to manage outbreaks, current demand for travel to New Zealand remains subdued, except for Queenstown.
“All other New Zealand services will be deferred for the time being,” Hartley said.
Virgin said the company will “continually be reviewing the network to respond to the latest advice”.
“And importantly looking at whether we can restart short-haul international flying, including to New Zealand earlier, should travel demand improve and circumstances change,” Virgin said.
“Doing the right thing for our customers remains at the heart of our decision making, and while the impact is relatively low due to ongoing border uncertainty, we are working to provide affected customers with alternative options as quickly as possible.”
Customers impacted by the changes will be contacted by Virgin Australia and provided with options to obtain a full refund or travel credit.