Virgin Australia has announced that it is cutting capacity by 25% for January and February amid Australia’s rapidly expanding Omicron Outbreak. Most routes will see reduced capacity with 10 routes suspended altogether.
Australia passed 1 million total cases in the pandemic on Monday – with about half of those being recorded in the last week.
Virgin cites decreased demand coupled with crew members being told to isolate for 7 days as close contacts as the reasons for the cuts.
The suspended routes are:
- Adelaide to Darwin – from January 25 with an anticipated return on June 22
- Adelaide to Cairns – From January 25 with an anticipated return on June 23
- Adelaide to Sunshine Coast – from January 24 with an anticipated return on March 29
- Coffs Harbour to Melbourne – from January 24 with an anticipated return on March 31
- Hamilton Island to Melbourne – anticipated return on March 24
- Sydney to Townsville – from January 25 with an anticipated return on June 23
- Melbourne to Townsville – from January 25 with an anticipated return on June 21
- Gold Coast to Launceston – from January 25 with an anticipated return on March 29
- Gold Coast to Hobart – from January 24 with an anticipated return on March 30
- Sydney to Fiji – From January 31 with an anticipated return on March 10
The Sydney-Fiji route only restarted less than a month ago.
CEO Jayne Hrdlicka told media, “Virgin Australia is dedicated to the communities that we serve and will resume these flights as soon as possible. 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.”
Governments in Australia have changed the definition of close contact multiple times during the last week. Several governments are now contemplating allowing asymptomatic fully vaccinated close contacts in essential business, such as aviation, transport and grocery retail to continue working.