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Virgin Australia Delays/Cancellations

Melburnian1

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VA9001, a 1000 hours MEL - SYD was also cancelled on Monday 6 July 2020.

Given today's announcement that because of many coronavirus cases in parts of Melbourne, the Victorian/NSW border will shut tomorrow night at midnight, one would expect fewer flights operating on the MEL - SYD - MEL sectors from Wednesday 8 July as only essential workers and others with an exemption agreed to by NSW Health will be able to depart Victoria, and 14 days' quarantine will be necessary.

The 0810 hours MEL - BNE, VA313, is again cancelled on Tuesday 7 July 2020, as is VA321, the 1000 hours between the same airports.
 
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Melburnian1

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Reflecting how (as 'The Herald Sun' puts it) Victorians are shortly to be completely in exile, on Wednesday 8 July 2020, VA341, the 1700 hours afternoon MEL - BNE has been cancelled.

Bain's acquisition of VA is subject to action from unsecured bondholders whose initial step is to ask the Takeovers Panel to examine the recent transaction.

The small number of Australians who are allowed to travel between SYD and MEL (due to the border closure) will further increase VAd's (and QFd's) losses from the pandemic, as usually this is the most profitable 'golden triangle' route.
 

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With the NSW/Victoria border closure commencing, on Wednesday 8 July 2020, VA811, the 0700 hours MEL up to SYD has been cancelled, as has the 1700 hours to BNE, VA341.
 

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One of the most unusual 'delays' I've ever seen is for reopening of the NSW/Queensland border at 1200 'high noon' on Friday 10 July 2020:

(from 'The Australian' online Thursday 9 July):

'Airline passengers arriving into Brisbane prior to Friday’s midday reopening of the Queensland border will be required to remain at the airport until noon.

Only essential travellers or returning residents will be allowed out prior to midday, meaning a 4.5-hour wait for passengers of Qantas flight QF500 from Sydney, and a 3.5-hour wait for Virgin Australia passengers on flight VA909.

Jetstar has pushed back its morning flight out of Sydney, so it arrives at 12.10pm rather than 7.40pm.

Restrictions do not apply to arrivals from intrastate airports.'
 

Melburnian1

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Monday 13 July 2020 will see (during Victoria's 42 day 'second lockdown') VA833, the 1000 hours midmorning MEL - SYD cancelled.

This leaves VA with just four departures timetabled from MEL tomorrow: one each to Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Sydney. The minimal timetabling continues, understandable when so many Victorians are unable to leave the Melbourne metropolitan area let alone the state.

QFd tomorrow has nine timetabled pushbacks ex MEL with stablemate JQ having five, as the latter has cancelled two to CNS and one to TSV.
 

Melburnian1

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Tuesday 14 July 2020 sees VA833, the first VAd flight timetabled on the day at 1000 from MEL to SYD cancelled.

This leaves VAd only operating VA685 from MEL to PER at 1245 hours and later, VA863 to SYD, the 1630 hours mid afternoon.

QFd is not much better, only operating four flights ex MEL tomorrow: one each to CBR, LST, PER and SYD.

JQd has cancelled all flights except one MEL up to SYD.

There are no VAd or QF group flights from MEL to ADL or BNE tomorrow, the latter normally being Australia's third busiest air route for passengers.

Given that Brisbane and Adelaide are respectively Australia's third and fifth largest cities, that's an amazing, unforeseeable situation. Perhaps not 'unparalleled' - the QF Group staff lockout in 2011 may have seen this occur, but it wasn't a six week (42 day) 'lockdown.'

Victoria's 42 day lockdown is really starting to 'bite.' No surface transport either MEL to ADL: 'The Overland' train usually runs westbound on a Tuesday, but is cancelled until 15 September 2020, while V/Line and Firefly have cancelled their road coaches. Few Victorians can obtain entry to SA or for that matter Qld in any case.

AFFer justinbrett suggested in another thread that if COVID-19 case numbers in Melbourne continued to be of concern, passenger numbers MEL - SYD would continue declining. He's correct, but adding to this is the worry in Sydney about that 'Casula Hotel cluster.' As a percentage of the population, coronavirus cases are low, and many will wonder if we're sacrificing the economy (including transport providers and their staff and contractors) and overreacting. A contentious debate.

Even with experience of the first lockdown, it's difficult to imagine many of us could have foreseen that things would get even worse in July 2020. If I thought about it at all, my reaction was 'it can't get any worse than March 2020.'

This inability to operate passenger transport services to and from Australia's second largest city (and not far behind #1, Sydney) would be crimping Bain Capital's efforts to restart VA (though the arrangement still lacks creditors' approval and could conceivably fall over on 21 August 2020 or after that), while the Qantas CEO's efforts to bring losses down to '$40 million a week' would also be under threat. Media suggested he was making good progress but that almost certainly needs revision.
 

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VAd lacked a single flight ex MEL on Saturday 18 July. On 19 July it has a grand total of one, VA341, the 1700 hours up to BNE.
 

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On Wednesday 22 July 2020 during coronavirus, VA833, the 1000 hours MEL - SYD and VA1320, the 1040 hours down to HBA (also ex MEL) were cancelled at short notice. This meant VAd had seven timetabled flights operating ex MEL today.

Strangely the MEL airport website doesn't show any inbound cancellations, but presumably VA1323 (1355 hours scheduled arrival in MEL ex HBA) and possibly one other got the boot.

Since the pandemic commenced, the data quality on the MEL and SYD websites has declined. Perhaps the airlines are not feeding 'quality and complete' information any more to try to save some dollars.
 

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On Thursday 23 July 2020, VA808, the 0700 hours SYD to MEL during coronavirus was cancelled.

VA826 (0930 hours timetabled departure) from SYD to MEL ran. Competitor QFd also cancelled two of its three proposed SYD to MEL flights today.
 

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On Saturday 25 July 2020 during the pandemic, VAd did not operate any flights from MEL.

On Sunday26, I can only see VA341 ex MEL at 1700 hours in the late afternoon to be bound for BNE.

Talk about a minimal weekend schedule!
 

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So far on Monday 27 July 2020 during the pandemic, VA957, the afternoon 1600 hours is the only VAd cancellation ex SYD. It was to travel to BNE.

VA992, the 2005 hours from BNE down to SYD has also been cancelled.

VA785, the 1350 hours from BNE up to CNS is expected to push back at 1438. It's more common in Australia for these amended departure times to be rounded to the nearest five minutes.
 
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Melburnian1

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VA977 (Tuesday 28 July 2020 early evening 1830 hours SYD up to BNE) has been cancelled.

VAd has nine other flights timetabled from Sydney Airport today but only two - on to each of Perth and Sydney - today ex MEL, but then QFd has only three and JQd two, with ZL also having three. Once upon a time we'd have said 'amazing' but it's often the case with the Melbourne lockdown that flights are scarce.
 

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On Wednesday 29 July 2020, at around noon, the Queenland Premier (who is shortly facing a State election) announced that its borders would be closed to residents (and anyone else) from Greater Sydney.

I don't know if this was showing prior to that, but VA977, the 1830 hours SYD - BNE has been cancelled.

Expect more SYD to BNE flights to be cancelled over the coming days.

UPDATE: Queensland's ban on (Greater) Sydneysiders is effective from 0100 hours on Saturday 1 August 2020, not today or tomorrow.
 
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VA1388, the 0850 hours BNE - ADL (B738 VH-YIQ) on Thursday 30 July 2020 during coronavirus diverted to MEL, taking off from the latter at 1317 hours and arriving in the wine capital at 1353 hours, 153 minutes behind schedule. There was high humidity in Adelaide this morning but some wind. Happy to be corrected, but doesn't that mean fog is less likely?

On the return, the 1150 hours ADL across and up to BNE took off at 1450 hours, with suggested arrival at 1720, 155 minutes tardy. It looks like this aircraft won't be used again until VA785 tomorrow, the 1350 hours afternoon trip from BNE up to CNS. Very low utilisation for a Thursday and Friday (as BNE to ADL return today were the only flights for YIQ, and tomorrow the same for BNE - CNS return).
 
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On Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 August 2020 during coronavirus, VA did not operate any flights ex MEL while on the Sunday, its only departure is VA341, the 1800 hours to BNE, the equal last domestic flight of any operator for the day. (ZL has nil flights from MEL on both).
 
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Melburnian1

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VA938 and VA962, respectively the 1005 hours mid morning and 1605 hours afternoon BNE down to SYD on Sunday 9 August 2020 during coronavirus were another two to get the flick. VA978 at 1805 is the only remaining proposed departure on this southbound route.

The 1255 hours BNE down to MEL, VA328 has a mammoth anticipated delay, not being expected to depart until 1945 hours in the early evening.
 

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On Monday 10 August 2020, VA916, the early morning 0705 hours from BNE down to SYD was cancelled, as was VA932 at 0905 hours. VA9788, the 1805 hours in the early evening is another to not run.

The mid afternoon 1510 hours from BNE up to MKY (VA613) also got the boot as did VA1106 at 1710 hours down to NTL.

VA1404 (1940 hours evening BNE down and across to ADL) also got the boot.

This left VAd today with 17 flights from BNE, far more than is the case for VAd, JQd and QFd - even on a combined basis - ex MEL.
 

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VA685, the lunchtime 1245 hours on Monday 17 August 2020 from MEL across to PER is expected to depart at 1620 mid afternoon.

VA318 from BNE to MEL should be arriving MEL at 1120 but is delayed by an expected six hours, with 1720 the revised time. Looks like a B738 may have failed.

VA did not operate any flights ex MEL on Saturday 15 and only one on Sunday 16 (to BNE). Today it has just five out of MEL: one to ADL, BNE, CBR, PER and SYD, reflecting how Victorians are not welcome in other states given the huge 'case numbers' compared to elsewhere in Australia.
 

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A huge delay on Wednesday 19 August 2020 is expected for VA826, the 0930 hours morning from SYD down to MEL that has been altered to depart at 1830.

Arrival should be at 2005 instead of 1105, so 540 minutes late.

All those aircraft stabled around Australia but unavailable at short notice if another fails.

While it won't matter for approved travellers, the nightly Victorian curfew commences at 2000 hours.

VA962 from BNE down to SYD should arrive at 1915 hours this evening, 95 minutes late.
 

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Monday 24 August 2020 sees VA327, the 1200 'high noon' from MEL up to BNE expected to depart an hour late while VA223 (1215 hours MEL across to ADL) should also depart at 1300 hours.

The VA223 delay is due to VA826, the 0930 hours down to MEL (ex SYD) with B738 VH-VUC taking off at 1053 with suggested arrival in the southern capital at roughly 1205 hours.
 

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