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Virgin Australia plans non-stop flights to Hong Kong

February 20, 2017 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

Virgin Australia is planning to begin non-stop flights to Hong Kong around the middle of this year.

The Australian carrier plans to lodge its application for a commercial alliance with Chinese shareholder HNA in coming days.

Virgin Australia raised the prospect of flying to Hong Kong as early as May 2016. It would mount the services in partnership with HNA, China’s largest private airline operator.

HNA, which bought 13% of Virgin Australia in the middle of last year, controls Hainan, China’s fourth-largest airline, and various budget airlines. It moves more than 77 million passengers a year on 700 routes between 200 destinations within China and abroad.

Virgin Australia would need permission from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to begin a joint venture to Hong Kong. Chief executive John Borghetti plans to argue that Cathay Pacific and Qantas dominate the Australia-Hong Kong market, according to an article in Australian Aviation.

The airline intends to use A330s on the route.

Virgin Australia parent VAH Holdings later confirmed the move in an issued statement, thus:

Virgin Australia today announced details of its alliance agreement with HNA Aviation, Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express, with the airlines submitting an application for authorisation of the proposed alliance to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Subject to authorisation, the airlines plan to:

  • Introduce new direct services between Australia and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (Hong Kong), as well as Australia and The People’s Republic of China (mainland China) operated by Virgin Australia;
  • Codeshare on each other’s flights between Australia and Hong Kong, between Australia and mainland China and on each other’s domestic networks; and
  • Co-operate in relation to route planning, sales, distribution and marketing, frequent flyer programs, lounge access and other activities.

As part of the first stage of the alliance, Virgin Australia plans to introduce flights between Australia and Hong Kong in mid-2017. The airlines are seeking interim authorisation of the proposed alliance to enable the introduction of these services as well as the commencement of codeshare arrangements.


  • Virgin Australia reported a AUD 21.5 million loss for the half year to 31 December 2016, hit by subdued domestic demand and restructuring costs. Revenue fell 0.9% to AUD 2.63 billion for the six months to 31 December 2016.
  • Virgin Australia applied to the International Air Services Commission to permit Air Canada to offer code-share services on flights operated by Virgin Australia on the New Zealand route.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    Love the VA plans NONSTOP flights to Hong Kong. Where exactly would they stop if they weren’t going to be nonstop? Guam, Port Moresby, Cebu?

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