Virgin Atlantic have made the decision to pull out of Australia as of May this year.
Virgin Atlantic will drop it’s daily flights between Sydney and Hong Kong after being affected by tough competition, increasing costs and a challenging economic environment. The airline had been flying to Sydney for nearly 10 years.
Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger said, “Despite the best efforts of our employees, external factors such as increasing costs and a weakening Australian dollar have affected our profitability. These are difficult times for the airline industry and as part of our strategy to operate more efficiently, we need to deploy our aircraft on routes with the right level of demand to be financially viable.”
Airlines likely to swoop in on this are Cathay Pacific, the only airline flying from Australia to London via Hong Kong, Qantas and British Airways, the last major European airline to still fly to Australia.
Here’s what Virgin Australia had to say about the changes:
How will this affect operations at Virgin Atlantic based in Australia? Should the route between Sydney and Hong Kong cease to operate we would no longer use the slots at Hong Kong or Sydney.
Do you think changes like this will improve profits for Virgin Atlantic in the next year? Part of our strategy is to operate more efficiently. We need to deploy our aircraft to routes with the right level of demand to be financially viable.
Are Virgin Atlantic planning to cut down the number of routes in operation overall? We have no plans to withdraw any other routes.