Virgin Australia: Partnership with Delta suspended
Since Virgin Australia is no longer flying internationally to Los Angeles, it is no surprise that their joint venture with Delta Air Lines has been effectively non-operational since March.
It’s now officially ‘paused’ according to a report from the sidelines of the CAPA (used to stand for ‘Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation’ – but is now just titled ‘CAPA – Centre for Aviation’ and is part of the Aviation Week Network owned by Informa) as reported by ET.
In the meantime, Virgin Australia will continue to provide bookings on Delta AirLines between Australia and USA via a codeshare agreement. You can also book internal USA flights with Virgin Australia under the codeshare.
Delta Air Lines runs a three times a week service between Los Angeles and Sydney, booking only 60% of economy seats to preserve social distancing (until end of September 2020). Although that might be true of outward flights from Sydney to LA, incoming flights to Sydney probably have less capacity, given the arrival limit on international flights per day into Sydney is currently 350 passengers.
Back in the ‘PC’ (Pre-COVID-19) days, Delta used to run up to 25 flights to the Australian east coast per week. My how things have changed.
A350 or B777? Depends when you fly
Flights on the Sydney – Los Angeles route use Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, which were scheduled to be replaced by lovely spanking new Airbus A350-900s by the end of 2020. Google flights is currently showing the 777 for flights up until 23 October, with the A350 taking over the route from Monday 26 October. They feature the delta One suites
On the other hand, good on Delta Air Lines for only booking 60% of seats in economy. Australian airlines – I’m looking at you Qantas – should take note.