Virgin Australia Announces Melbourne-Hong Kong Flights
22nd Mar 2017
Shortly following the ACCC's interim approval for its proposed alliance with HNA Aviation Group, HK Express and Hainan Airlines, Virgin Australia has announced that it will start a service between Melbourne and Hong Kong later this year. The Australian airline will commence a 5-time weekly service between the two cities from 5th July, 2017.
Chief executive officer at Virgin Australia Group John Borghetti said:
"Virgin Australia's entry into Hong Kong and Greater China is a key pillar of our international strategy, allowing us to tap into Australia's fastest growing and most valuable inbound travel market. Virgin Australia's entry into Hong Kong and Greater China is a key pillar of our international strategy, allowing us to tap into Australia's fastest growing and most valuable inbound travel market."
He also added:
"The Virgin Australia livery flying to Hong Kong for the first time is an exciting development and with it brings the style and sophistication that is synonymous with our brand. Travellers to and from Hong Kong will be able to fly in the world's best business class and dine on a restaurant-in-the-sky experience designed by resident chef Luke Mangan. Coupled with service delivered by the world's best cabin crew4, we know guests traveling on this route from July will appreciate the effortless luxury that comes with Virgin Australia."
Flights will be on sale pending the final regulatory approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The proposed alliance between Virgin Australia and HNA Aviation will allow customers of Virgin Australia to connect via Hong Kong to 13 other destinations in mainland China, while customers of Hong Kong Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines and Capital Airlines will then be able to connect to Virgin Australia's domestic and trans-Tasman network.
Virgin Australia plans to use Airbus A330-200 aircraft for the route in a 2-4-2 configuration. This includes 255 Economy Class seats as well as the award-winning Business Class seats ("The Business"), which received the title of the "world's best" at the recent Airline Ratings.
The Australian carrier has been trying to get approval for the Hong Kong routes and the alliance with HNA since February.