Virgin Australia To Restart Sydney-Canberra Route

The planned resumption follows an agreement with Link Airways.


Virgin Australia has partnered with Link Airways to resume its service between Sydney (SYD) and Canberra (CBR), which was suspended at the start of the pandemic in April 2020.

From Jan. 30, 2022, Virgin will operate more than 50 services a week between the two cities under an agreement with Link. Flights will be operated using Link’s Saab 340 B Plus aircraft.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Virgin offered up to 8X-daily flights between Sydney and Canberra using ATR 72s. However, the airline retired its entire turboprop fleet as part of a restructuring process in 2020.

Virgin said the agreement with Link will extend its domestic network reach into markets that its own Boeing 737-800 aircraft cannot serve effectively.

“The service will provide more than 16,000 seats each month between the two cities, which is welcome news for our corporate and leisure customers and particularly those in the government sector who regularly travel to and from Sydney,” Virgin CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said.

“Our Sydney-Canberra service is the 15th new service we have added to our domestic network since September, and we are looking forward to launching many more next year.”

Link CEO Andrew Major added: “The frequency of the services offered is a strong indication of the value Virgin Australia places in facilitating connections between Canberra and interstate destinations.”

Virgin’s return to the Sydney-Canberra market will see it compete with Qantas and Regional Express (Rex), which each fly the route up to seven times per day.

For the week commencing Nov. 29, OAG Schedules Analyser data shows Qantas provides about 6,700 two-way seats and has a 68.7% share of the market, while Rex offers 3,000 seats with a 31.3% share.