SUNDAY ESCAPE. Tigerair plane. Picture: Tigerair
SUNDAY ESCAPE. Tigerair plane. Picture: Tigerair

Tiger to scrap Darwin to Brisbane flights

UPDATED: Budget airline Tigerair will cut its Darwin to Brisbane flights among a raft of reductions in domestic routes.

The new boss of the airline's parent company, Virgin Australia, announced the cuts on Wednesday to shareholders.

The Darwin to Brisbane route is expected to end early next year.

"Flying to the right destinations, with the right customer demand, and the right-sized fleet will improve our financial performance," Virgin Australia chief executive and managing director Paul Scurrah told shareholders at Virgin's annual general meeting on Wednesday.

The company is looking to refocus Tigerair flights on key holiday destinations, he said.

Tourism Minister Lauren Moss said she and the Chief Minister had a phone meeting with the CEO of Virgin last week ahead of the decision and put the case for maintaining a presence in the Northern Territory.

"We want Territorians to have choice and we want to make sure there are lots of ways for visitors to fly here," she said.

"While the Territory will see some impact from Virgin's nationwide route changes, we have worked with them to minimise that impact."

Virgin Australia says it will retire five ageing aircraft and reduce domestic capacity by 2 per cent in the first half of next year as it focuses on more profitable routes.

 

 

EARLIER: Budget airline Tigerair will cut its Darwin to Brisbane flights among a raft of reductions in domestic routes.

The new boss of the airline's parent company, Virgin Australia, announced the cuts on Wednesday to shareholders.

The Darwin to Brisbane route are expected to end early next year.

Virgin Australia says it will retire five ageing aircraft and reduce domestic capacity by two per cent in the first half of next year as it focuses on more profitable routes.

Virgin also said it would suspend its Melbourne to Hong Kong flight from February 11, which has underperformed with recent protests in the former British colony, and redirect the A330-200 aircraft on a new route between Brisbane to Tokyo.

Chief executive and managing director Paul Scurrah told shareholders at Virgin's annual general meeting on Wednesday that the Tokyo flight was a "great opportunity".

The airline will begin flying from Brisbane to Tokyo's Haneda Airport from March 29.

The 2020 Olympics begin in Tokyo in July.

Virgin Australia said also said it would resume its popular flight from Melbourne to Denpasar, Bali, from March 29, assuming it receives regulatory approval.

It will scrap flights from Canberra to Perth, the Gold Coast to Perth, and Sydney to Christchurch, while adding more flights between Auckland and Sydney.

Virgin said it would retire two A320s from its Tigerair Australia subsidiary and three Fokker 100s from its regional business.

"Flying to the right destinations, with the right customer demand, and the right sized fleet with improve our financial performance," Mr Scurrah said.

There were many instances where Virgin Australia and Tigerair both have had aircraft operating on the right routes at the same time, he said.

The company is looking to refocus Tigerair flights on key holiday destinations, he said.

Virgin Australia is trying to reduce costs after an underlying loss of $71.2 million last financial year.

The airline is keeping its flight from Sydney to Hong Kong.