2 December 2021

Virgin Australia teams up with Link Airways to relaunch Sydney service

| Ian Bushnell
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Saab 340B Plus

The 34-passenger seat Saab 340 B Plus aircraft will service the Canberra-Sydney route for Virgin Australia. Photo: Link Airways.

An extra 53 flights a week to Sydney will be on offer in the New Year, with Virgin Australia restarting its service between the two capitals.

In an exclusive arrangement with Canberra-based Link Airways, Virgin will launch the resumed service from 30 January using Link’s Saab 340 B Plus aircraft and crew, with up to nine flights per weekday available.

It will be Virgin’s first service to Sydney since it had to stop flying in April 2020 at the height of the pandemic, and will add up to 16,250 seats between the two cities each month.

Travellers will welcome the increased travel options the service will provide, as well as competition, which hopefully will lead to cheaper flights.

Virgin is also hoping to capture a share of government business travel, saying corporate, leisure and government sector customers will now have more choice and flexibility when travelling to and from Capital Hill.

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Canberra Airport Head of Aviation Michael Thomson said the airport was delighted to welcome back Virgin Australia’s Canberra to Sydney service.

“This service will provide great connectivity between Canberra and Sydney, and we are sure it will be well supported by travellers from both cities and the region,” Mr Thomson said.

He said aviation was rebounding, with flights increasing each week as border restrictions ease across Australia.

“We are confident that flights and passengers will continue to increase in 2022. Canberra tourism and business are ready to welcome back travellers to the national capital, and Canberrans are ready to recommence their travel plans,” he said.

Virgin has also welcomed back customers to its Canberra Lounge. It says eligible customers travelling on Virgin Australia flights with Link Airways will continue to have access to Virgin Australia lounges when they fly.

Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said Canberra was a very important destination for the airline.

“The service will provide more than 16,000 seats each month between the two cities, which is welcome news for our corporate and leisure customers and particularly those in the government sector who regularly travel to and from Sydney,” she said.

“Services will operate nine times per day on weekdays, providing even more choice and flexibility for Virgin Australia customers. We’ll also continue to offer some of the best value fares in the market which are now available to be booked via our website.”

Ms Hrdlicka said the Sydney-Canberra restart was the 15th new service to be added to Virgin’s domestic network since September, and the airline was looking forward to launching many more next year.

Link Airways Chief Operating Officer Andrew Webb said Link was excited to work with Virgin Australia on the resumption of their services connecting Canberra and Sydney.

“The frequency of the services offered is a strong indication of the value Virgin Australia places in facilitating connections between Canberra and interstate destinations. As a Canberra-headquartered airline, we particularly look forward to the commencement of the services in January,” he said.

All Virgin Australia fares include Velocity Frequent Flyer Points and up to double Status Credits as part of an ongoing loyalty promotion. Passengers can change or cancel travel credit with no fees for all domestic travel up to 30 April 2022.

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