Virgin Australia will follow rival Qantas to increase domestic flying as state border restrictions ease, in spite of entering voluntary administration, Australia’s second-largest carrier said on Thursday.
Virgin Australia Chief Commercial Officer, John MacLeod, said they would double current capacity to around 13 per cent of pre-coronavirus level by early July, adding approximately 30,000 seats across 320 flights per week.
“Virgin will also introduce several safety measures, including pre-departure health screening, contactless check-in, more frequent cleaning and expanded social distancing measures.
“The airline has decided to increase capacities as travel demand grows.
“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.
“Importantly as travel begins to increase, the safety and wellbeing of guests remain crucial, which is why measures to minimise risks associated with COVID-19 are being introduced,’’ MacLeod said.
Virgin entered voluntary administration in April, owing creditors almost 7 billion Australian dollars (4.84 billion dollars).
Administrator Deloitte has narrowed down potential buyers for the airline to Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners, and expected to reach a deal with the winner by the end of the month.
Australia’s largest airline Qantas announced recently that over 300 return flights would be back in operation by the end of June, boosting domestic capacity to 15 per cent of normal.