Virgin Australia has applied to the Australian International Air Services Commission (IASC) for a five-year permit to operate regular flights to China and Hong Kong. The move follows HNA Group’s recent decision to acquire a 13% stake in the carrier.
In a filing, Virgin Australia said its Virgin Australia International unit intended to commence daily services to each of Beijing Capital and Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok from an undisclosed “major” Australian gateway with effect from June 1, 2017. Operations will be on-board A330-200 equipment with a total of 1,925 seats per week required.
The launch of the flights is also dependent on the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities allocating take-off and landing slots to the carrier.
Virgin Australia’s longhaul network current entails: Sydney Kingsford Smith-Abu Dhabi Int’l and Brisbane and Sydney to Los Angeles Int’l.