- Virgin Australia is ramping up its domestic flights as states continue to ease travel restrictions.
- The airline is increasing its flights between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
- Virgin Australia is also rolling out new safety guidelines on its flights, including contactless check-in and a health questionnaire for passengers.
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Virgin Australia is increasing its domestic flights as states continue to ease their travel restrictions.
The airline will double its capacity by early July, adding around 30,000 seats across 320 domestic flights. It is increasing flights between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth and restarting flights between Sydney and Perth, Brisbane and Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide, and Brisbane and Canberra.
Also available will be extra intrastate flights in Queensland and Western Australia.
In a statement, John MacLeod, Virgin Australia Group Chief Commercial Officer said air travel demand has started to pick up as states start to lift their restrictions.
"It’s early days but these services will be a welcomed boost to Australia’s tourism industry and help the nation’s economy and aviation sector to rebuild," he said. "The services will also give us the opportunity to bring team members back to work, who I know have been looking forward to welcoming and sharing our award-winning customer service."
In March, as the coronavirus led to state border closures, Virgin was forced to cut its domestic flights by 90% and stand down 8,000 of its 10,000-strong workforce. The airline then went into voluntary administration in April after struggling to gain financial support.
New safety measures on Virgin Australia flights
From June 12, the airline is rolling out new safety guidelines for its flights, such as a health screening, pre-departure eligibility, contactless check-in and sequenced boarding. There will be more cleaning at the airport and on the planes, as well as social distancing measures.
During check-in there'll be a health questionnaire to fill out to make ensure you're well enough to fly and to help with contact tracing. And when it comes to seating the airline will aim to have one seat between passengers travelling alone, "however this may not always be available" Virgin Australia Group Medical Officer Dr Sara Souter said in a statement.
People travelling together, including families, will be able to sit together.
"It’s important to remember that the inflight environment is very different to that of other modes of group transport, with a range of protective features including hospital-grade air filtration systems, directional airflow and high seat backs between travellers," Souter said.
"The international evidence supports very low-risk of COVID-19 transmission inflight, which is also our experience to-date in Australia."
Virgin Australia is encouraging passengers to wash their hands regularly, avoid touching their face and download the COVID-safe app. Hand sanitiser or face masks are granted upon request.