Virgin Australia Routes
V-Australia and Virgin Blue have now become Virgin Australia: it's all the same airline, but for a long time due to licencing restrictions, what seems like the natural name couldn't be used.
Long Haul International Routes on Virgin Australia are easy to list: there are only three, to a grand total of two destinations! Don't be mislead by the huge Virgin Australia route map at the back of the inflight magazine: almost all of these are codeshares, and don't really exist as Virgin Australia destinations.
Sydney to Los Angeles is the core route – VA1 no less – seven days a week leaving Sydney at 1440 and arriving in LAX at 0930 the same day, but 14 hours later, using the Boeing 777.
Bribane to Los Angeles has direct flights on a Friday, Monday and Wednesday at 1050 arriving at 0605 in the morning. This is the shortest ex-V-Australia route, taking a mere 13 hours 15 minutes.
Melbourne to Los Angeles is much less core, with direct flights on a Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday at 1215 arriving at 0750 in the morning, taking nearly 15 hours.
Sydney to Abu Dhabi is a bit of a weird one, and it seemed odd for Virgin Australia to almost double up on flights with its partner Etihad on this one. There are only four flights a week, on a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, at 1555 and arriving at 2340. There is also a real Etihad Airways flight leaving at 2150 and arriving at 0535 seven days a week. Very few people seem to know about the Virgin Australia flight: travel agents deny it exists, and even Etihad agents seem bemused when you tell them there is a real Virgin plane also flying the route.
A real curiosity of both of Virgin Australia’s mainline routes is that both of them are exactly the same distance from Sydney – Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles are both 7502 miles from Sydney. This is not believed to be deliberate.
Trans-Tasman there aren't many 'real' Virgin Australia flights either: from Sydney to Auckland there are just two a day, with just the 1105 (arr1610) and the 1930 (arr 0035) both on a 737. There are however racks of codeshares on Air New Zealand.
Domestically, Virgin Australia's core route is between the East and West Coasts, on which it puts the flagship A330. Alas, it's quite hard to get onto this plane, which has great seats in Business Class, and instead you may end up on the much poorer 737 – which due to it's better inflight entertainment, may actually be better in economy.
Sydney to Perth is the core domestic route - although there aren't that many flights, and fewer still on a A330. The main morning flight is the daily 0700 to Perth, arriving at 0900 with an A330, then there is the 1040 arriving 1240 with an A330. Neither flight serves lunch. There is then a huge gap until 1730 (arrives 1930) with a 737: dinner is served, but the business seats are the old 737 style. Finally at 2000 (arrives 2200) there is another A330. With no afternoon flights, and with the best evening service served by the worst plane, many passengers end up going via Melbourne. Flying back from Perth, there is the 737 appearing on the 0600, then A330s at 1015, 1500, and the woeful 2315 redeye.
Melbourne to Perth is an equally mixed bunch, but at least flight times are shorter, and every flight gets an A330. There is the 0700, 0900, 1330 (arrives 1435 - lunch is properly served), 1730 (arr 1835) and 2000. Flying back there is the quite frankly painful 0545, 0930, 1200 (good flight - arrives 1825) 1600 ad 2245.
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