VA cancels all NZ flights up until NOV22

brentonnn

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Anyone get stung recently by VA's decision to cancel all NZ flights up until November 2022? Had flights booked in September (SYD - ZQN) suddenly disappear from my VA app. Rang the contact centre to be advised that they are cancelled and I can take a full refund or flight credit. When asked why, the agent wasn't really forthcoming and said due to some 'recent rearrangements of flights'. Now looking on VA's website, you can only book NZ flights from November onwards.. strange especially noting NZ's announcement of borders opening earlier than expected for Aussies.
 

henrus

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strange especially noting NZ's announcement of borders opening earlier than expected for Aussies
Hardly odd at all, during last years bubble many Air NZ and Qantas flights crossed the tasman with very low passenger loads (some QF flights I took had just 10 passengers onboard) as a result VA have decided that it's not worth going back to NZ until demand rebounds. Not sure if they're still doing it but if you ask Virgin they may rebook you on a Air New Zealand service but this isn't their preferred option hence they offer of a refund or credit.

Regardless I'm not sure what announcement about borders opening earlier you're looking at. Under the current plan for Australian passport holders it's just "from July 2022" which is quite frankly a joke. Given Australia and New Zealand have a reciprocal travel agreement and those with NZ passports can now freely come and go why can't those with an Australian passport do the same into NZ. Now there is an additional announcement on Wednesday planned but who knows what that will involve.
 

brentonnn

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Hardly odd at all, during last years bubble many Air NZ and Qantas flights crossed the tasman with very low passenger loads (some QF flights I took had just 10 passengers onboard) as a result VA have decided that it's not worth going back to NZ until demand rebounds. Not sure if they're still doing it but if you ask Virgin they may rebook you on a Air New Zealand service but this isn't their preferred option hence they offer of a refund or credit.

Regardless I'm not sure what announcement about borders opening earlier you're looking at. Under the current plan for Australian passport holders it's just "from July 2022" which is quite frankly a joke. Given Australia and New Zealand have a reciprocal travel agreement and those with NZ passports can now freely come and go why can't those with an Australian passport do the same into NZ. Now there is an additional announcement on Wednesday planned but who knows what that will involve.
VA happy to cede the trans-tasman market share (or lack of) to QF/JQ & AirNZ until end of year I guess.

Agreed, the trans-tasman bubble should be reciprocal both ways regardless of which passport you hold. It was only in the last month or so Australian's were allowed in from July quarantine free. Prior to that, it was Sep/Oct timeframe.
 

glasszon

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Seems like the high airfare between AU and NZ will continue for a while. I am monitoring airfare closely as I am looking to fly to NZ for a short trip, and return fare consistently exceeds $1k until late April, I wonder why they are not putting more flights on trans-tasman routes as the demand is clearly there.
 

Muriel

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Anyone get stung recently by VA's decision to cancel all NZ flights up until November 2022? Had flights booked in September (SYD - ZQN) suddenly disappear from my VA app. Rang the contact centre to be advised that they are cancelled and I can take a full refund or flight credit. When asked why, the agent wasn't really forthcoming and said due to some 'recent rearrangements of flights'. Now looking on VA's website, you can only book NZ flights from November onwards.. strange especially noting NZ's announcement of borders opening earlier than expected for Aussies.
As far as I can see, at this stage, Air NZ is the only airline worth booking lights to NZ (if your travelling from BNE). Qantas flights from BNE to Auck fly via Sydney, adding several hours to the flight.
 

jrfsp

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I think its all international, Fiji and Bali too

Probably limited return in international at the moment
 

jase05

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I think its all international, Fiji and Bali too

Probably limited return in international at the moment
Yep, take this with a grain of salt as it comes from QF chatter at work but VA are about to halt all International flights until November
 

HS-TQE

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Not to mention the Aus-Bali market is rumoured to have CitiLink (Garuda's LCC) re-enter on the PER-DPS and AVV-DPS routes (Both routes were flown prior to COVID), as well as Malindo/Batik (xx_-DPS-KUL), plus AirAsia Indonesia into PER.

Garuda mainline will only be flying SYD-DPS-CGK-SYD at this stage.
 

burmans

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Hardly odd at all, during last years bubble many Air NZ and Qantas flights crossed the tasman with very low passenger loads (some QF flights I took had just 10 passengers onboard) as a result VA have decided that it's not worth going back to NZ until demand rebounds. Not sure if they're still doing it but if you ask Virgin they may rebook you on a Air New Zealand service but this isn't their preferred option hence they offer of a refund or credit.

Regardless I'm not sure what announcement about borders opening earlier you're looking at. Under the current plan for Australian passport holders it's just "from July 2022" which is quite frankly a joke. Given Australia and New Zealand have a reciprocal travel agreement and those with NZ passports can now freely come and go why can't those with an Australian passport do the same into NZ. Now there is an additional announcement on Wednesday planned but who knows what that will involve.
Well we will know on Wednesday, so wouldn’t have been long to wait before announcing. While I appreciate that during last years bubble loads were low my understanding is that for some routes at least demand is fairly high.
 

Anastascia

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I really hope VA are not going to cancel SYD-DPS flights for July as the Qantas prices are very hefty in comparison.
 

Zanzara

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As far as I can see, at this stage, Air NZ is the only airline worth booking lights to NZ (if your travelling from BNE). Qantas flights from BNE to Auck fly via Sydney, adding several hours to the flight.
Yes, well if you don’t mind not getting the option of a refund if anything happens. NZ famously all during COVID doesn’t and didn’t give refunds, just a flight credit. QF is also known as Air Sydney for a reason. At least they& VA give refunds though.
 

jakeseven7

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They probably don’t have the aircraft as well anymore to be able to service these markets at any type of frequency that would see them competitive. Trans Tasman has always been a blood bath for them, why bother, wait it out is probably a far safer play.
 

HS-TQE

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VA will likely only return to AKL later this year at least when UA resumes AKL-LAX/SFO. And even then it'll likely be from BNE only, very much to give Queensland customers other options than via SYD or MEL.

They probably don’t have the aircraft as well anymore to be able to service these markets at any type of frequency that would see them competitive. Trans Tasman has always been a blood bath for them, why bother, wait it out is probably a far safer play.

They still have those aircraft in VA's fleet. Still registered to VAi, but currently operating domestic flights with the "Operated by VA International for Virgin Australia" tag on those flights. Best use them for domestic operations if NZ is still lacking demand on their end.
 

Harrison_133

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Still registered to VAi, but currently operating domestic flights with the "Operated by VA International for Virgin Australia" tag on those flights.
They’re no longer doing this. Seems the VAI registered aircraft are used interchangeably with the VAA ones now. The VAI tag still appears in place holder schedules if you look quite far in advance, but as schedules are firmed up it disappears.
They probably don’t have the aircraft as well anymore to be able to service these markets at any type of frequency that would see them competitive.
There are 15 737-800s still registered to VAI on the CASA site (regos YIG-YIZ). Pre-covid they did all the Bali/Pacific/NZ flying and some limited domestic runs with the VAI tag, as HS-TQE mentioned. In terms of the domestic fleet, pre-covid they had 62 737-800s and the 2 -700s registered to “Virgin Australia Airlines.” 11 of the -800s left during administration and didn’t return.

With the 15 VAI aircraft, 2 737s from Tiger and the 7 Silk machines, they’ve already made up for the ATRs, A330s and 737s that left the domestic fleet during administration. It makes sense to stay domestic focused while international demand is flat, and if it does start to pick up they have the 7 additional 737NG’s they announced and the MAX 10’s to make up for the international capacity.

I don’t think VA being cautious with international ops is a silly approach – focus on the domestic core, then commit to international when the demand is more stable. How many times has QF put on sale massively ambitious international schedules, only to drastically cut them back?
 

Brizz

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Yes - booked on LATAM (SYD to AKL) in June for a boozy trip to NZ for the wife's b'day.

Includes bags, meal and entertainment which are all upsells on Air NZ, and much cheaper!

Returning Air NZ however as the LATAM schedule is not extensive (and only via AKL)
 
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Veering OT the runway, into taxiway Zulu:
Must say though, having to do the ((edit ATD))(digital edit passenger declaration) on a phone will be a pain in the .........
So everyone who wants to come back from NZ will have to either have a smartphone with data enabled, so roaming $$$$$, or use a shared computer (scary), or to bring along a laptop when we travel to NZ and back to Aust, or to bring along a laptop when we travel overseas and want to come back to Aust.
 
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