In addition to mining, charter and some scheduled flights, Alliance Airlines operates a range of routes on behalf of Virgin Australia using Fokker 70 and Fokker 100 aircraft.
This review will give you an idea of what to expect when booking a Virgin Australia flight operated by Alliance Airlines.
|Route||Brisbane (BNE) to Gladstone (GLT)|
|Aircraft type||Fokker 70|
|Class of travel||Economy|
|On-time performance||We arrived 5 minutes early.|
This flight cost $99 for a Getaway ticket, which included a checked bag.
When booking on the Virgin Australia website, I was able to choose an exit row seat at no extra cost.
Even though my flight was operated by Alliance Airlines, I checked in at the Virgin Australia counters. For all intents and purposes, this was a Virgin Australia flight (other than the aircraft and crew being provided by Alliance Airlines). I was able to earn Velocity points, and Velocity members can normally access all of their usual status tier benefits when travelling on an Alliance Airlines codeshare service – although Virgin’s lounges are still closed.
There was no queue to check-in and it didn’t take long to clear security. Brisbane Airport certainly wasn’t teeming with people, but I would say there was a steady stream of passengers. Most of them appeared to be heading to North Queensland or Adelaide.
Priority boarding was called first, followed by everybody else. There was no attempt to board by row number, and not even an announcement about social distancing at the boarding gate. Face masks were not made available to passengers at the airport, nor on board the plane.
The Hard Product
The Alliance Airlines Fokker 70 has 16 rows of Economy class seats in a 2-3 configuration, making a total of 80 seats. Business class is not available on this aircraft.
The plane was 24 years old and showing its age a little, but seemed to be well-maintained. The seats were surprisingly comfortable and well-padded.
There was no in-flight entertainment, wifi or in-flight magazine (I suspect the lack of magazine is due to COVID-19). But there was plenty to see out the window as we flew north along the Queensland coastline.
Sitting in the exit row, I had a huge amount of legroom. I could easily stretch my legs out as far as I wanted.
The legroom in the regular seats looked adequate. The row 1 legroom looked decent as well, although you wouldn’t be able to stretch your legs out due to the bulkhead in front. I was also amazed by the very generous seat recline.
The Soft Product
There’s not much to say about the soft product, to be honest. The crew were professional and complimentary water was offered, but that was the only in-flight service provided.
A small snack, which you would normally get when flying with Virgin Australia, would have been nice. But for a 50-minute flight in Economy class that cost $99, the service was fine.
Alliance Airlines Fokker 70 Economy Class
I’d be happy enough to book a Virgin Australia flight operated by Alliance Airlines again in the future. There are no bells & whistles, but those seats are very comfortable and it’s rare these days to be able to choose a spacious exit row seat for free.