Virgin will offer direct flights between Canberra and Perth during Parliamentary sitting weeks from August this year, with tickets and related holiday packages for the remainder of 2017 on sale at virginaustralia.com from today.
Focused on the market for politicians, their staffers and family members, the services will run on a Boeing 737 aircraft on Thursdays and Sundays during sitting weeks.
Flights for 2018 will go on sale when the Parliamentary sitting calendar for the year is announced.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr noted on Facebook that while the service was “initially timed around federal parliament sittings” there was “capacity for further expansion in the future”.
The flights were designed to cater for “increased demand for travel to and from the nation’s capital and to encourage tourism to both cities”, according to a statement from Virgin.
Politicians will be able to choose between flying Qantas and using its Qantas Chairman’s Lounge or travelling on Virgin and enjoying access to its equivalent invitation-only private lounge, The Club. Both airlines offer the exclusive lounge services in Canberra and Perth.
In Parliamentary sitting weeks in August and September 2017, Virgin Australia will operate the following services on Thursdays and Sundays:
• VA590 will depart Perth at 1235 and arrive in Canberra at 1825
• VA589 will depart Canberra at 1900 and arrive in Perth at 2140
In sitting weeks between October 2017 and December 2017, Virgin Australia will operate the following services on:
• VA590 will depart Perth at 1205 and arrive in Canberra at 1855
• VA589 will depart Canberra at 1930 and arrive in Perth at 2110
• VA590 will depart Perth at 1135 and arrive in Canberra at 1825
• VA589 will depart Canberra at 1900 and arrive in Perth at 2040
Virgin Australia also offers direct flights from Canberra to Adelaide, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney.