Virgin Australia is announcing it will boost its daily coast-to-coast service between Melbourne and Perth and shuttle service between Melbourne and Sydney. The carrier plans to introduce its 2 widebody Airbus 330-200 aircraft on both routes. The two daily flights between Melbourne and Perth are set to launch on May 14th 2012. The new short haul service between Melbourne and Sydney will begin operating the very next day on May 15th 2012.
The new schedule will permit the A330-200 to conduct the 3h45min Melbourne-Perth flight departing at 1pm and 5:30pm Melbourne time daily. The return leg will allow Perth-Melbourne passengers to arrive at 1:45pm and 10:45pm.
On the much shorter 1 hour-long route between Melbourne and Sydney, the widebody aircraft will be deployed in order to satisfy peak hour travel demand departing Melbourne at 7:15am and returning by 11:35am.
The carrier is finding that configuring its A330-200 with 27 Business Class leather seats and 251 Economy Class leather seats has created opportunities. The twin-engined widebody aircraft offers significantly more comfort than the single aisle twin-engined Boeing 737-700 that can also be employed on the routes. The 2-3-2 Business Class cabin is enhanced by the comfort of two aisles, while the Economy cabin accommodates 2-4-2. This uncharacteristic use of an A330-200 on a seemingly shorter ‘commuter’ link between Melbourne and Sydney provides relief for high peak hour passenger density using a very compelling proposition for business travelers.