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Virgin releases 60,000 cheap fares to meet Christmas rush

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Virgin Australia is trying to make up for lost time with the release of more than 60,000 fares from only $75 for a 12-hour period from 11am today.

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The sale includes Sydney-Brisbane flights for $95 and will include 25 routes for travel within key school holiday dates

The cheap fares will be available for select travel dates and destinations between December 5, 2020, and January 19, 2021.

The announcement came as Qantas and Queensland-based Alliance Aviation announced trading updates showing big improvements. Alliance said its underlying profit before tax for the first half would be $26 million, up from $15.5 million for the 2020 first half.

The company received grants from the Government of $7.5 million and said when they were taken into account its statutory profit before tax would be $33.5 million.

Qantas said it expected to start repairing its balance sheet in the second half of 2021 and although it would post a significant loss for the year it expected a break-even in its underlying earnings.

Its capacity will increase to 68 per cent this month and 80 per cent by the third quarter.

Virgin’s chief commercial officer, John MacLeod said the relaunch of the weekly sale was the start of a new chapter for travellers now that borders had re-opened and many Australians were looking to book their next adventure or family vacation.

“We are seeing considerable demand across our domestic network, and along with recently added flights, this sale is a way we can get even more people back in the sky, particularly families looking for a great value airfare over the school holiday period,’’ McLeod said.

Virgin would also waive applicable change fees and provide customers with unlimited booking changes for reservations with travel between now and 31 January 2021.

The airline will further extend booking flexibility until 31 March 2021 should a customer’s travel plans be impacted by COVID-19.

One-way economy fare highlights in both directions:

Melbourne – Newcastle from $75

Sydney – Coffs Harbour from $79

Melbourne – Adelaide $89

Brisbane – Newcastle $89

Brisbane – Mackay from $90

Sydney – Brisbane from $95

Melbourne – Sydney from $99

Adelaide – Sydney from $109

Melbourne – Canberra from $119

Melbourne – Brisbane from $129

Brisbane – Darwin from $169

Hobart – Gold Coast from $169

Melbourne – Townsville from $189

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