Aviation

Virgin Australia gifts Victorian passengers free thongs as they arrive in Queensland

Christmas came early for a group of passengers travelling on Virgin Australia’s first flight from Melbourne to Brisbane following Queensland’s border reopening to Victorian travellers.

Passengers from flight VA309 waiting for their luggage received a Christmas surprise like no other as over 200 pairs of Havaianas latest-edition bright red thongs arrived on the baggage carousel for their collection.

The thongs, a perfect gift to start the first day of summer, was Virgin’s way of welcoming Victorians back to the Sunshine State after months of lockdowns and border restrictions.

Virgin also marked Queensland’s border reopening to travellers from Victoria and Greater Sydney by announcing its lounges in Melbourne and Sydney will reopen on 15 December, following the airline’s Brisbane lounge reopening last month.

Furthermore, Virgin plans to reopen its Gold Coast lounge soon.

Jayne Hrdlicka, CEO and managing director of Virgin Australia Group, said the airline is seeing strong demand throughout December across all of its Queensland services from Victoria and NSW.

“So, we know many Australians have been itching to visit Queensland to reunite with their loved ones or do business,” she said.

“The broader economic contribution that open borders will bring cannot be underestimated in what has been the most difficult year for many businesses, particularly in the tourism and hospitality industries.

“With open borders, we can bring more of our people back to work to safely connect Australians with their families, which is the best Christmas present an airline CEO could have asked for in 2020.”

Virgin will add approximately 78,000 weekly seats between Victoria and NSW and Queensland by January 2021, and the carrier expects to reach 60 per cent of prior-year domestic capacity within the same timeframe.

The airline will continue to offer COVID-19 booking flexibility until 31 March 2021.

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