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Virgin Australia has been working overnight to schedule additional services to assist affected Qantas passengers.
The airline will use Virgin Australia aircraft to offer over 3,000 extra seats today between the ports of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Karratha and Perth.
This is in addition to the 40,000 seats that Virgin Australia has recently added to its domestic network for travel between 14 October 2011 and 31 January 2012.
At present, Virgin Australia has 140,000 seats available for sale on the domestic network through until Sunday 6 November 2011.
The airline is also in discussions with alliance partners Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Delta Air Lines in regards to adding extra capacity. Current options being explored include:
·Operating Etihad Airways aircraft between Sydney and Melbourne;
·Operating an Etihad Airways Boeing 777 between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, which will release a Virgin Australia Boeing 777 to operate between Los Angeles and Australia;
·Operating Singapore Airlines aircraft on key domestic routes;
·Operating extra Air New Zealand aircraft on the trans-Tasman route in order to release Virgin Australia Boeing 737s for use domestically.
Virgin Australia is offering special “Stranded Passenger” recovery fares for passengers who are currently at a port away from home and hold a Qantas ticket to return home within the next 5 days.
The fares are offered at a 20 per cent discount to available “Saver” fares on Virgin Australia and Pacific Blue flights, for travel through to Thursday, 3 November 2011, subject to availability. They are available via a dedicated web page: http://www.virginaustralia.com/qantasgrounding/
A range of other measures are also being taken to ensure Virgin Australia is well-placed to assist affected passengers, with the airline increasing staffing levels at airports and contact centres thanks to hundreds of staff volunteering to work extra hours.
Virgin Australia will provide further updates via media release and on our website: http://www.virginaustralia.com/servicedisruption/