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Just noticed this today on the VA Facebook page - https://www.canberraairport.com.au/2...ghts-to-perth/
Virgin Australia has announced plans to fly twice-weekly between Canberra and Perth during Parliamentary sitting weeks to cater for increased demand between the two capital cities while encouraging tourism.
Canberra Airport’s Managing Director, Stephen Byron, is delighted by the announcement and said Virgin Australia will become the second airline to offer direct flights to Perth from Canberra Airport.
“This is great news for Canberrans and for the whole region as it will now offer a choice of carrier when flying to Perth,” Mr Byron said. “It should also lead to more competitive pricing on the route which will encourage more tourists to visit our city and its surrounds.”
To be operated by one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft, Virgin will fly during the Parliamentary sitting weeks in August and September on Thursdays and Sundays with the flight departing Perth at 12.35pm and arriving in Canberra at 6.25pm, then returning at 7pm and arriving in Perth at 9.40pm.
For sitting week flights between October and December, the airline will operate services on Thursdays (departing Perth at 11.35am and arriving in Canberra at 6.25pm before returning at 7.00pm and landing in Perth at 8.40pm) and on Sundays (departing Perth at 12.05pm and arriving in Canberra at 6.25pm before returning at 7.30pm and landing in Perth at 9.40pm).
Flights in 2018 will be available for sale once the 2018 Parliamentary sitting calendar is released.
Virgin Australia also flies direct from Canberra to Adelaide, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney.
Have checked the website and the flights are currently the same price as going via SYD or MEL. Guess it will depend on demand as to whether that remains the case or if the price of the direct flights will fall.
Interesting move as Qantas' daily CBR-PER flights tend to be very full most of the time - and especially during parliament sitting weeks. I had wondered if Qantas wouldn't do well to put an A330 on the route on occasions.
I've found that Qantas has generally offered the direct CBR-PER flight at a price premium over one-stop connections via SYD/MEL/ADL, indicating strong demand for the direct flight. I would expect Virgin to do the same, but time will tell.
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