Virgin Australia cuts Melbourne-LAX

Jul 23, 2014 No Comments by

Virgin Australia is set to cut its thrice weekly Boeing 777-300ER Melbourne-Los Angeles effective 26 October 2014. The carrier will instead increase frequency on its Brisbane – Los Angeles 777 service from four times weekly to daily also from 26 October 2014.

The carrier, in a memo to staff, states this move is as a consequence of “further strengthening our presence in what already is a strong market for our business.” The BNE-LAX market is already served daily by QANTAS with larger capacity 747-400 aircraft and Virgin’s move may lead to a more competitive environment in terms of fare offerings. In terms of the MEL-LAX market, this also served daily by QANTAS A380s as well as United Airlines 777s which presently operate via Sydney. Effective 25 October 2014, United will offer non-stop service MEL-LAX using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, initially six times weekly and from 2015 daily.

There is speculation that Delta Air Lines, which collaborates as joint business venture with Virgin Australia on the trans-Pacific market may introduce services to Melbourne. The carrier presently operates a daily non-stop SYD-LAX service using 777-200LR WorldLiners.

Virgin Australia has a fleet of five 777-300ERs, and this schedule adjust for flights to LAX does not represent any capacity cut. The carrier’s other long haul destination is Abu Dhabi thrice weekly in collaboration with Etihad. This route is also allegedly under review. Virgin Australia will still operate to Abu Dhabi, however the flight will be under a wet-lease arrangement with Etihad. Etihad already has a similar arrangement whereby it wet-leases Virgin’s 777 on a once weekly Abu Dhabi-Kuala Lumpur service.

Airline News, Delta Airlines, QANTAS, United Airlines, Virgin Australia

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