Virgin Australia has today announced it will resume its Sydney to Abu Dhabi flights from September 1.
Virgin stopped these flights at the end of last year due to getting their 777 fleet reconfigured with their new business class suites. They originally only flew the Sydney – Los Angeles flights but have now put the newer suites onto the Brisbane flight. The airlines currently have 4 777’s configured which is quite impressive speed wise.
VA29 will depart from Sydney at 2:35pm and arrive into Abu Dhabi at 11:05pm.
The flights will operate from Sydney every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Every day that VA don’t operate Etihad operate their own flight (EY451/450) which currently operates everyday. This flight also has a first class cabin which VA do not have.
VA30 leaves Abu Dhabi at 10:40am and arrives into Sydney at 6:30am the next day.
As this flight is being brought back I was hopeful that some award seats would pop up but that is very minimal unfortunately. However premium economy seats are quite common for the flight. Etihad do not currently offer premium economy so it’s a nice addiction to the route for people wanting a nicer flight without paying for business. Lately VA have been opening business class award seats last minute, usually 24-48 hours out from departure.
Virgin charge the following amount for redemptions:
- Business Class (oneway) 95,000
- Premium Economy (oneway) 71,700
- Economy (oneway) 44,800
All business class guests, and Gold card holders of Etihad Guest and Velocity will be able to use the Etihad Premium lounges in both Sydney and Abu Dhabi.
However ’The Club’,Etihad ‘Exclusive’ and Platinum card holders can take advantage of the brand new Etihad first class lounge and spa in Abu Dhabi, a review can be found here: Review: Etihad First Class Lounge. Although the Etihad website states Velocity members cannot access the first class lounge many people have reported back to me that they have been successful getting in and I myself got access being Platinum with VA.
I’m very happy to see VA bring back the route quite soon and I think this is a great route for the airline. The opportunity of having a Premium economy cabin will be fantastic for passengers. Currently no middle eastern airline operate a premium economy cabin. Also VA have a fantastic business class product which is much better to what Etihad operate on their 777 aircraft which is in a staggered configuration.
I hope to review this route quite soon as I just missed out on the suites during my time in Los Angeles a few months ago.