Virgin Australia flight sale with new routes from $59

Travel might be off the cards for half of Australia, but that hasn’t stopped one airline from launching several new routes for those lucky enough to be able to step on a plane.

Virgin Australia will bring out two new routes in time for the September school holidays, one of which has never been part of the airline’s 21-year network.

The new services, focused on markets with open borders, include the resumption of flights between Adelaide and Darwin from September 6 and the introduction of a new direct service between Adelaide and Launceston, commencing September 7.

To kickstart the launch of the services, Virgin Australia is offering one-way $59 economy fares from today until midnight this Friday, August 13 or until sold out.

Virgin Australia has launched several new flights amid the current lockdown. Picture: BeyondImages/iStockSource:News Regional Media

Virgin Australia Group chief commercial officer Dave Emerson said it was exciting to be launching new travel opportunities for the states without border restrictions.

“With open borders between South Australia and Tasmania and Northern Territory, we’re able to finally start direct flights between Adelaide and Darwin, as well as offer a new direct service between Adelaide and Launceston,” Mr Emerson said.

“I don’t know about others, but for me, there’s no better way to clear the lockdown cobwebs than heading off to experience a new place or reconnect with old friends.

“More flying also means we’ll have more of our team members in the air and more business for the many hundreds of tourism operators and hospitality venues who rely on the economic injection tourists provide their communities.”

Launceston is now on the Virgin Australia map when flying from Adelaide. Picture: Andrew WilsonSource:Supplied

Adelaide to Darwin will also be launched. Picture: Dan MooreSource:Supplied

Last week, in another blow to pilots and airline workers, Australia’s national carrier Qantas announced thousands of staff will be stood down due to Covid.

Speaking to media, the airline’s CEO Alan Joyce said about 2500 Qantas and Jetstar employees will be stood down without pay for two months due to ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks along the east coast.

Qantas said the stand down was a temporary measure to deal with the significant drop in flying caused by the greater Sydney lockdown and the knock-on border closures in all other states and territories. The airline said no job losses were expected.

“This is clearly the last thing we want to do, but we’re now faced with an extended period of reduced flying and that means no work for a number of our people,” Mr Joyce said.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was forced to stand down more workers in August. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jeremy PiperSource:News Corp Australia

Mr Joyce told reporters the company was working on the assumption NSW’s borders would be closed for another two months.

“We know it will take a few weeks once the outbreak is under control before other states open to NSW and normal travel can resume,” Mr Joyce said.

“Fortunately, we know that once borders do reopen, travel is at the top of people’s list and flying tends to come back quickly, so we can get our employees back to work.”

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