There’s never been a better time to suss out in the group chat if anyone wants to do a cheeky Byron trip, because flights are going to be as cheap as *$55* for two-hours tonight. Fifty-five dollars. Last time I went to Byron (three whole weeks ago), I spent more than that getting from the airport to the beach.
Virgin Australia is holding a two-hour sale of half-price flights tonight (that’s Friday night), taking advantage of the hype over the government’s nearly 800,000 half-priced airfares.
Some of the deals on offer include:
- Sydney-Byron Bay/Byron Bay-Sydney from $55
- Sydney-Gold Coast/Gold Coast-Sydney from $55
- Melbourne-Launceston/Launceston-Melbourne from $64
- Brisbane-Whitsunday Coast/Whitsunday Coast-Brisbane from $78
- Melbourne-Gold Coast/Gold Coast-Melbourne from $88
- Adelaide-Sydney/Sydney-Adelaide from $102
- Melbourne-Canberra/Canberra-Melbourne from $111
- Melbourne-Perth/Perth-Melbourne from $146
They go on sale from 5pm AEST today, and will last until 7pm – or until flights sell out, which in my experience can be ‘pretty bloody quickly’.
The government’s half-priced flights program is part of a $1.2 billion stimulus package, aimed at encouraging Aussies to take a holiday in their own backyard and help revive the tourism sector, which took a massive hit with the pandemic.
Return flights to eligible locations – which includes the Gold Coast, the Whitsundays, Alice Springs, Launceston, Broome and Kangaroo Island – will receive a 50% discount between April 1 and July 31.
“This package will take more tourists to our hotels and cafes, taking tours and exploring our backyard,” Scott Morrison said on Thursday.
“That means more jobs and investment for the tourism and aviation sectors as Australia heads towards winning our fight against COVID-19 and the restrictions that have hurt so many businesses.”
While flight operators welcomed the package, the scheme was not without its critics. Labor leader Anthony Albanese accused the government of choosing destinations by politics, rather than need; every destination bar Avalon, Victoria is either a safe Liberal or National seat, or a marginal electorate the Coalition would be looking to pick up next election.
“They always look at one thing and it’s not who needs support the most,” Albo told reporters.
Hmmm. Yes. Political tit-for-tat aside…. cheap flights, baby. Gimme.