Virgin set to experience turbulence following recent net loss


Virgin Australia has announced this week a program to cut 750 head office and corporate roles after posting a $349 million full-year loss. The result is a surprising drop for Virgin following their slender thing profit of $64 million the previous year. The plan to slash jobs is estimated to save the airline $75 million annually in costs. The cuts would impact seven per cent of Virgins current workforce.

On top of labour costs Virgin has advised it would be making an urgent assessment of all its current routes and capacities to see where further savings can be made. It’s expected there will be a strong focus around leisure routes. The move would ensure better route profitability for the airline.  Virgin has also decided it would hit pause on fleet renewal until July 2021.

The recent loss has not made new VA CEO Paul Scurrah’s life any easier since he landed into the tough job following the departure of John Borghetti. The new CEO pointed to tough trading conditions as well as rising fuel and the lower Australian dollar.

The news follows rival Qantas posting earlier this month a 6.5 per cent fall in annual net profit. Like Virgin they attributed the loss to higher oil prices and a weaker foreign exchange.





Iberia is set to take ownership of its first A350, one of 16 ordered by the Spanish airline. This is great news for Iberian flyers, particularly those travelling long haul to New York with the aircraft identifying Madrid – New York as the first long haul route to get the plane.

Currently Iberia operates a fleet of A330s and A340s for long haul flights. The A350 will be rolled out to replace some of the A340s that are set for retirement.

The airline has released the schedule for the plane and for those commuting within Europe, you will be some of the lucky few to enjoy the aircraft before it makes treks to the States.

Iberia plans to initially operate the A350 between Madrid and London Heathrow (route IB3166) from 20 July to August 31, 2018 (except the dates between August 4 – 16). It is important to note that whilst this route shows the A350 currently it is subject to change.

The A350 will then appear on the following New York routes:

  • IB6251/6250 to New York – 8 August 2018
  • IB6253/6252 to New York – 1 September 2018

Whilst some in the aviation sector have noted the new cabin layout isn’t revolutionary, the cabin refresh for their new A350 delivery is definitely noticeable, with comfort vastly improved for those making the transatlantic journey. Business class will see the 31 seats feature a longer and wider bed whilst enhancements have been promised by the airline to its 24 premium economy and 293 economy seats.



Is anyone else as keen as me to fly Iberia’s new A350? Keen to hear your thoughts.

Busiest travel routes for 2017 announced



Whilst I’m not a numbers man (and don’t profess to be), I do get excited nonetheless by facts and figures around aviation and travel. Naturally it comes as no surprise that when (global provider of digital flight information) released reporting around the Top 10 World’s Busiest Routes for 2017 this week I was eager to know more.

According to, the world’s busiest air route for 2017 was in South Korea. The popular route from Jeju to the capital Seoul saw airlines fly a whopping 64,991 this year.

Australia featured strongly, appearing twice in the top ten. Sydney to Melbourne was the world’s second busiest air route, with 54,519 flights annually whilst Brisbane to Sydney is the eighth busiest, flying 33,765 times annually. Having flown frequently on both routes I understand the patronage and busyness of the legs.

Whilst the top 10 busiest flights were domestic, When it came to international routes, Hong Kong to Taipei topped the list with 29,494 flights yearly. Eight out of ten routes in the top 10 international routes were from Asia.

Top 10 busiest air routes

Jeju-Seoul, South Korea: 64,991
Melbourne-Sydney, Australia: 54,519
Mumbai-Delhi, India: 47,462
Fukuoka-Tokyo Haneda, Japan: 42,835
Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo Congonhas, Brazil: 39,325
Sapporo-Tokyo, Japan: 38,389
Los Angeles-San Francisco, USA: 34,897
Brisbane-Sydney, Australia: 33,765
Cape Town-Johannesburg, South Africa: 31,914
Beijing-Shanghai, China: 30,029
World’s busiest international air routes

Top 10 international air routes

Hong Kong-Taipei: 29,494
Kuala Lumpur-Singapore: 29,383
Jakarta-Singapore: 26,872
Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur: 20,890
Hong Kong-Shanghai: 20,818
New York La Guardia-Toronto: 17,116
Hong Kong-Seoul Incheon: 16,366
Beijing-Hong Kong: 14,592
Dublin-London Heathrow: 14,556
Bangkok-Singapore: 14,455

I’ll be keen to see what the figures/ patronage is for 2018 when this time of year comes around again. Will South Korea still maintain the crown? Only time will tell.



Have you flown any of the aforementioned routes? Do the figures reflect your experience in terms of crowds/ people traffic? Keen to hear your thoughts.