Virgin Atlantic To End Sydney Flights

British carrier Virgin Atlantic has announced plans to terminate its daily Sydney route with effect from 5 May 2014.


Currently operated with an Airbus A340-600 via Hong Kong, flight VS 200 will instead terminate in the Chinese Special Administrative Region after arriving at 1750 hrs from London (Heathrow). The jet turns around to operate flight VS 201 at 2325 hrs, landing back at London (Heathrow) at 0525 hrs the next morning.


Blaming increasing costs and a challenging economic environment, Virgin Atlantic would have been impacted by the growth of Gulf carriers in the Australian market. With higher frequencies and a streamlined service through their respective hubs, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways had steadily chipped away at the market share of the existing players on the Kangaroo Route.


The decision leaves Oneworld members Cathay Pacific and Qantas as the only airlines flying nonstop between Hong Kong and Sydney. It also raises speculation that Virgin Atlantic’s Australian affiliate Virgin Australia could fill the void with its own Sydney – Hong Kong flights using the Airbus A330-200, although this has not been confirmed by the latter.


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