Virgin axes Alice to Darwin service as it looks to cut costs

Virgin Australia is axing its Darwin to Alice Springs flights from the start of next year as it looks to claw its way back to profitability.

The latest announcement follows Virgin dropping its Darwin to Bali flight and it’s budget carrier Tiger Airways cutting its Darwin to Brisbane route early next year.

“From December 3, 2019 onwards, we will proactively communicate with passengers booked to travel on these services from January 29, 2020 onwards,” a Virgin spokesperson told the NT News.

“Where possible, and if suitable for the passenger, we will offer re-accommodation via another port, a full refund (including Velocity Points) or a Travel Bank with all cancellation fees waived.

“Virgin Australia remains committed to both the Darwin and Alice Springs markets and will continue to serve both ports with direct services between Darwin and Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, and between Alice Springs and Adelaide and Brisbane.”

Tourism Minister Lauren Moss said she was “very disappointed” by the announcement.

“We continue to work with our airline partners to maintain affordable airfares for Territorians, particularly between Darwin and Alice Springs and this has been discussed with Qantas,” she said.

The news leaves Qantas and Airnorth as the only carriers left offering direct flights between the two cities.