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Virgin Announces Capacity Cuts Through Winter

Australian Subsidiary Reduces Capacity by 25% in Jan/Feb Amid Rising COVID Cases

Virgin's wing down under has announced a series of reductions across its travel network by an estimated 25% through January and February, citing an increase of mandatory isolations for COVID-exposed staff and a drop in airline travel demand. 

The move isn't the only one this month, as similar trends have been seen across the industry with cancellations in everything from industry conferences to movie releases. The move will reportedly suspend some of the lower-demand routes, including 9 domestic Australian flights and its only international flight to Fiji. Australia's COVID regulations have made a name for themselves in recent memory, becoming somewhat renowned for their stringent rules and hardline response to those who look to test them. Virgin's be that domestic travel will drop further could be accurate, given the hodgepodge of provincial regulations throughout the country. One recent rule change, for example, comes from New South Wales, where January 8th saw the enactment of rules banning "singing and dancing in venues" except for rehearsal, instruction, or wedding receptions, provided other COVID-19 Safe Check-in Procedures are followed. Much like lockdown measures throughout 2020, it is well possible that would-be passengers find the requirements too troublesome to be worth travel. 

The routes in question include flights from cities including Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Melbourne, Hamilton Island, Townsville, the Gold Coast, Hobart, and Launceston in certain combinations that have traditionally been lower-demand routes. CEO ov Virgin Australia, Jayne Hrdlicka, told customers that here was little the company could do given the state of COVID.  

“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 apologize for the inconvenience caused to any guest impacted by the changes to our flight schedule during this time.”



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