Virgin Australia will resume domestic flights as of tomorrow on a limited schedule after striking a deal with the Australian Government.
Just one week after the major airline announced that they would be ceasing all flights except one singular Melbourne-Sydney route per day, a number of planes will return to the sky.
The airline announced the news in an email to customers on Thursday night after confirming the deal
“Virgin Australia is pleased to respond to a request from the Australian Government to resume flying an underwritten, minimal domestic schedule, to transport passengers and keep important freight corridors open during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Virgin Australia said in an email.
“The schedule will commence tomorrow (Friday 17 April 2020) and run for a period of eight weeks, until 7 June 2020.”
According to news.com.au, flights will be available to essential travellers only, including people needing to return home.
The announcement will also allow the airline to reinstate some of the 1,000+ employees who were stood down as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
It is expected that the limited new schedule will have up to seven flights per week between each of Australia’s capital cities, as well as a number of flights from regional hubs like Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns.
A total of 64 return services per week will begin tomorrow, as per a schedule outlined by 9 News here.
Domestic flights will likely be up for grabs online from tonight, in addition to the few international flights still for sale for repatriation purposes only.
The news comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that the government refused to budge on an individual airline bail out, instead asserting that any financial support would be given to the entire sector.
“I’m aware that there are many market-based options that are currently being pursued, and I would wish those discussions every success,” Morrison said in a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Passengers who have had their flights already cancelled can re-book online using their Travel Bank credit or can call the contact centre on 13 67 89 for further assistance.