Virgin Australia launches historic Launceston-Perth route
Launceston Airport for Virgin Australia launch to Perth
Northern Tasmania now has unprecedented access to Western Australia. Virgin Australia launched non-stop flights from Launceston to Perth on 5 November 2021. Launceston Airport celebrated with a spectacular cake, winning anna.aero’s prestigious Cake of the Week prize.
For the first time in Launceston Airport history, the two cities are connected by regular commercial air services, with an initial three flights per week on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays. Frequency will increase to daily from 13 December 2021 for the Christmas school holidays to meet pent-up demand. The services are scheduled to run until 30 January 2022.
Prior to COVID-19, Tasmania welcomed 57,900 visitors from Western Australia, with an average spend of $2,389 per visitor during their stay in Tasmania (source Tasmanian Visitor Survey, YE December 2019).
Launceston Airport CEO Shane O’Hare said Virgin’s new offering will help reunite loved ones, stimulate tourism and support local jobs. “There’s plenty of excitement about the new route, which will help connect people like never before, while creating greater convenience for the region’s FIFO workers,” he said. “Aussies are being encouraged to explore their own backyard and this new route is sure to reinvigorate tourism both locally and in Western Australia. Launceston Airport is ready to welcome more guests and the increase in visitation will directly flow onto local businesses, tourism operators, and into the state’s wider economy.”
Virgin Australia Group Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Alistair Hartley said Virgin Australia is now operating more Tasmanian services than at any time in its history. “Virgin Australia is proud to be expanding our network and operating the first direct service between Launceston and Perth in Launceston Airport’s 90-year history. This brand-new seasonal service will allow thousands of people to connect with their loved ones this Christmas and enable more of our experienced team members to return to the skies. To give passengers confidence when booking, Virgin Australia has waived all applicable change fees and allows for unlimited changes for all bookings between now and 30 April 2022.”
Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown said the new route is another example of Virgin Australia’s long-term commitment to Western Australia. “It is great to see our airline partners looking to the future with the view of introducing and expanding their networks to increase Western Australia’s connectivity and we look forward to adding more interstate destinations when it is safe to do so. Travel between Tasmania and Western Australia is open to passengers without any COVID-19 restrictions, so we are expecting travel between the two capital cities to be popular during the season. We will be working with our tourism partners and Virgin Australia to ensure these links between Western Australia and Tasmania become strong as we recover from the pandemic. It has been a tough year and as vaccination rates rise and Australia begins to open up, the introduction of new and expanded routes will provide a great opportunity for people to travel to a domestic destination that they have never experienced before.”