Omicron continues to wreak havoc on air travel, with Virgin Australia announcing it has been forced to cut a quarter of all flights from its upcoming schedule.
The airline company has slashed its January and February flights schedule and will be operating at a reduced recency on busy routes during this period.
Ten routes will be suspended completely from late January: Adelaide to Darwin, Adelaide to Cairns, Adelaide to the Sunshine Coast, Coffs Harbour to Melbourne, Hamilton Island to Melbourne, Sydney to Townsville, Melbourne to Townsville, Gold Coast to Launceston, and Gold Coast to Hobart. The international route from Sydney to Fiji has also been affected.
The cancellations come as Virgin’s staff availability has been massively reduced due to the spread of Omicron. The demand for flights has also decreased as more and more Australians get the new strain of COVID-19.
“Virgin Australia is dedicated to the communities that we serve and will resume these flights as soon as possible,” Virgin chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka offered in a statement. “Although we don’t know when this wave will pass, we do know that as we make the shift to living with Covid-19 there will continue to be changes in all our lives.
We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to any guest impacted by the changes to our flight schedule during this time.”
The silver lining for travellers is that those who have found their flights cancelled have been assured they will be re-accommodated further down the line. They could have to wait until winter, however, with flight cancellations set to begin on January 24th and last until June.
Get the latest Travel news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
At the moment, it doesn’t appear that airline rivals Qantas or Rex Airlines have suffered similar flight cancellations on such a scale yet.
For more on this topic, follow the Travel Observer.