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Virgin adds 600 new jobs, seven new aircraft as Aussies return to the skies

Business

Virgin will hire an additional 600 people, return all its stood-down workers and buy an additional seven new aircraft as it puts the worst of the pandemic behind it.

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The announcement came a year after the Brisbane-based airline was relaunched under new ownership that included severe travel restrictions.

Chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said Virgin Australia’s frontline team would be completely “stood up’’ by December.

The 600 roles have been advertised across five states and were aimed at supporting the introduction of new aircraft. The jobs would be in engineering, pit crew, cabin crew and corporate.

Hrdlicka said letters-of-intent were signed on seven Boeing 737NG aircraft. An additional two A320s also had also been recently added to VARA, the group’s West Australian resource operation, bringing VARA’s total A320 fleet number to seven, along with a number of F100 aircraft.

“This fleet growth underlines the confidence we have in the future of our business and the industry generally.  Vaccination rates are rising, borders are opening, and demand is returning,” Hrdlicka said.

“We are really positive about travel restarting as borders open more fully.  We have used our time well while the industry was quiet and are well advanced on all aspects of our transformation strategy and we fully intend to continue growing with demand to ensure we operate at roughly 33 per cent of the domestic market.’’

However, the revival of the airline came as a new competitor entered the market. Rex has announced daily flights from Brisbane to Sydney and Melbourne at cheap rates to lure customers in the lucrative market.  

Hrdlicka also promised continued jobs growth at Virgin and praised staff for being positive, flexible, loyal and committed.

The business has announced 12 new domestic routes since September, with international operations to commence next month.

Virgin Australia will shortly resume short haul international services, with a schedule of services to Fiji, Bali and New Zealand, commencing with flights to Fiji on 16 December 2021.

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