Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int'l) is cutting its domestic capacity by a further 2% as it looks to make further inroads into reducing its persistent losses.

At its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 6 November, Virgin Australia Holdings Chief Executive Officer Paul Scurrah announced fleet and route reductions, which also included the suspension of the 4x weekly Melbourne Tullamarine to Hong Kong Int'l route from February 11, 2020, which has suffered as a result of the recent political unrest. The group will retain a daily service to Hong Kong from Sydney Kingsford Smith and continue to work on improving its onward connections through its partners Hong Kong Airlines (HX, Hong Kong Int'l) and Virgin Atlantic (VS, London Heathrow).

As a result of this change in service on the Melbourne-Hong Kong sector, the incumbents Cathay Pacific (CX, Hong Kong Int'l) and Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) will continue to provide 18x weekly and daily flights respectively.

The A330-200 currently flying the Melbourne-Hong Kong service will be re-deployed onto Virgin Australia's daily Brisbane Int'l to Tokyo Haneda operation, commencing on March 29, 2020. According to the ch-aviation schedules module, no other carrier currently offers direct services on the city pair. Aside from this route launch, the carrier will also enter the Melbourne to Denpasar route on the same date, subject to regulatory approval.

In addition, Australia's second-largest airline will also withdraw from its Canberra to Perth Int'l route from December 6, 2019, Coolangatta/Gold Coast to Perth service from January 19, 2020, as well as the Sydney to Christchurch sector on April 29, 2020.

The carrier has also reduced frequencies elsewhere on its network, with its Sydney to Tamworth service falling from two daily flights to just 6x weekly. Virgin Australia will also reduce its Auckland Int'l to Sydney frequency from up to 19 rotations to 14x weekly.

Despite these capacity losses, it will operate four additional weekly frequencies between Sydney and Port Macquarie.

Also announced at the AGM was a review of its regional airline fleet strategy, and as a result, three of Virgin Australia’s Fokker 100s will be retired by March 2020.

Tigerair Australia (TT, Melbourne Tullamarine), the group's low-cost carrier, is also subject to the capacity cull, as its fleet will reduce by two A320-200s by mid-2020.

Routes will also be cut, with the carrier pulling off its Brisbane to Darwin and Proserpine to Sydney sectors from February 3, 2020, as well as the Adelaide to Brisbane route from March 29, 2020. However, the latter city pair will benefit from five additional Virgin Australia services per week.

These Tigerair Australia service suspensions come in addition to other capacity reductions on existing routes.