Virgin Australia, Qantas and Jetstar announce domestic flights will begin operating from tomorrow after a request from the Australian Government.
Virgin Australia, Qantas and Jetstar announce domestic flights will begin operating from tomorrow after a request from the Australian Government.

Airlines to resume domestic flights

Virgin Australia, Qantas and Jetstar will resume flights on a limited domestic schedule starting today.

In an email sent to customers on Thursday night, Virgin confirmed a deal had been struck between the airline and the Australian Government.

"Virgin Australia is pleased to respond to a request from the Australian Government to resume flying an underwritten, minimal domestic schedule, to transport passengers and keep important freight corridors open during the COVID-19 pandemic," the email read.

"The schedule will commence tomorrow (Friday 17 April 2020) and run for a period of eight weeks, until 7 June 2020."

Domestic flights are expected to go on sale from tonight in addition to international repatriation flights already operating from Australia to Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

News.com.au understands passengers will be eligible to fly if they need to return home or are an essential traveller.

Virgin Australia will resume flights between major Australian cities from Friday. Picture: Claudia Baxter/AAP
Virgin Australia will resume flights between major Australian cities from Friday. Picture: Claudia Baxter/AAP

The limited domestic schedule will include as many as seven flights a week each way between Australia's major capital cities.

Regional airports including Rockhampton and Mackay will also be serviced.

An official announcement is expected to be made by the airline soon.

It follows doubts about the future viability of Virgin Australia amid pleas for a $1.4 billion bailout from the government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Government would not budge on independent financial support for the airline, and that any assistance will be provided on a sector-wide basis.

"I'm aware that there are many market-based options that are currently being pursued, and I would wish those discussions every success," Mr Morrison said when questioned about the Virgin bailout on Thursday.

Qantas has also announced it will increase domestic flights, including across Jetstar routes.

Originally published as Virgin to resume domestic flights


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