Virgin cuts flights as omicron rips through staff

Virgin Australia has slashed a quarter of all flights from its schedule in January and February as it faces staffing issues and reduced demand as the omicron COVID-19 strain rips through Australia.

The airline has suspended 10 routes – including its lone international service – and reduced flight frequency on some other routes to achieve this. Chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka stresses the changes are temporary.

“One thing we have learnt from the last two years is that we need to keep adapting as circumstances change. So we will continue to do that, and have made some temporary changes to our network to manage the current environment,” Hrdlicka says.

“We do know that as we make the shift to living with COVID-19 there will continue to be changes in all our lives and we look forward to continuing to connect our guests with their families, friends, colleagues. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to any guest impacted by the changes to our flight schedule during this time.”

Affected passengers will be “reaccommodated”, the airline says, and where Virgin is unable to provide an alternate service, it has encouraged customers to get in touch.

The suspended routes are:

– Adelaide-Darwin

– Adelaide-Cairns

– Adelaide-Sunshine Coast

– Coffs Harbour-Melbourne

– Hamilton Island-Melbourne

– Sydney-Townsville

– Melbourne-Townsville

– Gold Coast-Launceston

– Gold Coast-Hobart

– Sydney-Fiji

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