15 September 2007

Virgin to resume Canberra - Sydney Flights

| Jazz
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Its been a while since anyone other than Qantas flew the Canberra – Sydney route. Sinec 2004 apparently, according to this story on ABC online. However with Virgin unveiling a new fleet of jets it seems they are set to try and grab a share of the market with flights set to resume in Feb 2008.

IMO this is only good news for anyone trying to fly out of Canberra. Flights at the moment are ridiculously expensive compared with other major routes.

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Gungahlin Al4:02 pm 17 Sep 07

*thread hijack switch on*
Mael: None of which said contexts matches *your* incorrect use, and therein lies the problem, and I’m sure there are probably some implications for the future of society as we know it in there too…
*thread hijack switch off*

I just nominated you for tagline status VBman… that’s all…

*Pedant repelling switch on*
Macquarie Dictionary unknown version but used by major government department that starts with A and ends with something like ttorney-General’s Department

/yaw/; weak form /yuh/.
1. the possessive form of you.
2. used to indicate all members of a particular group: your suburban house; your typical old-age pensioner.
[Middle English; Old English eower (genitive of ge ye[1])]
*pedant repellor switch off*

I hope that the Village Building company doesn’t mind these extra flights flying over the lovely Tralee site.

Vic Bitterman2:33 pm 17 Sep 07


I have no idea what you are trying to say about my comment?? I fly Qantas and VB a lot.

More so Qantas as they have a larger network and have services to more cities and towns.

It’s not uncommon for me to fly to one city on VB in the morning and back on Qantas (and vice-versa) if the flights suit what I am doing in that town on that day.

With VB getting back into the CBR-SYD sector, I’ll be travelling more with VB. Not due to any allegiance to any carrier, simply as there will be more flight times for me to choose from!

la mente torbida2:07 pm 17 Sep 07

Maybe Qantas is popular because the mental giants that organise bookings are only capable of learning and remembering one procedure at any point in time.

Gungahlin Al1:45 pm 17 Sep 07

I for one welcome Virgin back on the Canberra Sydney route, as it means I can change over from Qantas for all flights. Qantas Club in Sydney and Brisbane are almost as bad as out in the terminal at peak times.
So Virgin charge for food and coffee – implies that the food and coffee that Qantas serves is actually worth drinking? Nope to both.

Have taken to carrying on my own food and drink. Flying to the west coast soon and dreading having to actually rely on the Qantas fare…

*Pedant switch on*
Mael – “you’re” – short for “you are”…
*switch off*

barking toad11:15 am 17 Sep 07

“….they can use the Qantas Club to do work.”


Of course, being able to shovel in free piss has nothing to do with it!

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt10:27 am 17 Sep 07

The simple fact is that the majority of large businesses and government really don’t care about the cost of flights – convenience and reliability are more important. For example, when your time costs clients a couple of hundred dollars an hour, it is much better to drop a few hundred for a guaranteed, fully flexible ticket that is immediately confirmed, than to stuff around for a couple of hours trying to save a few bucks.

As for Sydney trips, we don’t even bother flying, because door to door times using hire cars are similar, you can multiple people in the one vehicle if required, and you don’t need to use Canberra taxis. Cheaper, too, although this is incidental.


My gov dept we choose our own flights and book using Qantas business travel, they don’t care which carrier is used – Comment by Vic Bitterman — 15 September, 2007

Do you wonder why your on Qantas flights a lot ?

Virgin failed on the Cbr-Syd route last time because they only offered a couple of flights/day – outside of when public servants/business customers were going to be wanting to travel – then they had the hide to blame QANTAS for the service falling over!

I don’t think Virgin is much cheaper than QANTAS anyway – but then Sir Dick has never been one to let the facts get in the way of all the hype!

I used to fly Virgin quite regularly, but sometimes they made it less than easy to tolerate. I don’t mind paying for my coffee, but $3 for a cup of NesCafe seems unnnecessary. Often little things went wrong, like my reading light not working.

If they promise not to make my flight “fun” I’ll fly with them again. I’m old, I’m crabby and I don’t want to have fun on my flights; I want to be left alone.

The one i flew on was a 767 it was a couple years ago. And I’m sure it was ex Ansett.

People bag Qantas but I can tell you especially their international flights have improved a hell of a lot. Singapore Airlines use to be a lot better then Qantas but now Qantas has over taken them big time. I flew Business class on Singapore Air a couple months ago to Singapore after usually flying Qantas out of Aus and it was a step back. Qantas in flight entertainment and seating is a lot better then Sing now.

I don’t really have a choice to fly Virgin now as I just use my Qantas FF points for my local travel in Aus but its good to see the competition.

Ah Shauno,

You poor soul.

What you had to pay for food, gee that must have hurt. One of the reason Virgin can keep their fares so low compared to Qantas is they don’t have to provide food. I’ve flown Canberra to Melbourne numerous times with Virgin, and it’s been a delight.

As for being ex Ansett planes. I think you’ll find Virgin’s 737 fleet which you refer to were all brand spanking new. Not ex Ansett.

Ant – dead right. An agency I was working with a booking contract with a Qantas subsidiary and, despite people asking expressly for different carriers and despite the other carriers being cheaper or getting somewhere at a better time, Qantas was the inevitable choice. The agency should just have paid its travel budget to Qantas rather than going through the pretence of a middleman. I wonder if the commission arrangements are as clear and non-conflictual as they might be?

QBT being the flight bookers for some departments explains part of it (lots of reasons why a non-Qantas flight couldn’t be used… connection times being one excuse), but also some gov’t people are after the FF points. Some departments make you declare your FF points and which belong to work, others seem to turn a blind eye to actual management and usage of the points, beyond saying that work FF points “should” be used for work.

My company only flys me on Qantas when im in Aussie. Im sure that is because of the availability of flights not the cost.

I only flew Virgin once from Sydney to Perth a while ago and it was crap. Really old ex Ansett planes and tacky blue seats and it felt really cramped and uncomfortable. Also you had to pay for you food. So Ive never flown them again.

Rex were on a winner with the free champers after 3.00. I was sad to see them go.

Vic Bitterman9:04 pm 15 Sep 07

My gov dept we choose our own flights and book using Qantas business travel, they don’t care which carrier is used.

To answer jemmy’s question I use Qantas simply as they usually have the flights when I want to travel. I do easily 40 return flights per year from Canberra. Nothing is worse than hanging around in an airport waiting for a flight – even in the Qantas club. I’d rather spend time with my family, so convenience is the key factor here.

If VB on the CBR -> SYD sector are just as frequent and timely as Qantas, I’ll be flying with them when needed, as simple as that.

I preferred Rex anyway.

In my dept the travel was all booked by Qantas travel. They were supposed to provide best fare of the day, but Qantas tickets were confirmed immediately, while virgin flights took days to confirm.
Funny that most people ended up with qantas tickets.

Being at the launch early Friday morning, for both the Virgin Lounge opening and the annoucement of the new planes and resuming the Canberra – Sydney leg, it has been along time coming.

Flights are meant to be starting from $99 and servicing pretty much the 6am-10am time slots and 2pm-8pm time slots with only 8 services daily in each direction. Most Qantas flights are about $119.

Price wise and comfortwise I think they will be much better than Qantas. I got to check out the new plane.. they are about the same size as the Dash 8’s only with bigger seats, slightly more legroom and the plans have jet engines not propellors. So it will be a quieter ride.

Plus if you fly Virgin you can access there lounge by paying a daily rate – unlike the Qantas Club where you need to have membership.

I say bring on the comfort!!! and I hate flying in those Dash 8 planes..

Virgin are not used much in my department, because if you have to change your flight (eg the meeting day or time has changed) Virgin hit you with all manner of fees for the privilege, which are a nightmare to enter in to SAP (the online finance module that the admin staff have to use in my dept). Qantas’s ‘fully flexible’ arrangement is much better suited to this. If they offered no-penalty flexibility to govt depts, they would get more business.

I’m curious why the PS didn’t use VB. In my PS relative’s case, it was because they travel a lot and they usually have to wait a couple of hours for a connecting flight and they can use the Qantas Club to do work. They agree that the lack of PS using VB killed VB the first time.

Anyone else in the PS want to say why they chose Qantas?

gun street girl10:24 am 15 Sep 07

Not a moment too soon, IMO. It might be enough to boot Qantas up the backside to deliver a proper service, too… one that consistently runs on time would be a good start. Let’s hope the public service market gives Virgin a go to break this monopoly – without the pubes on board, this venture will sink like others before it.

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