The World's Second Busiest Route Collapses Into Nearly Nothing

Sydney to Melbourne, the world’s second busiest route, has become one of the least busiest.


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In 2019, the Sydney to Melbourne route saw 54,102 flights, making it the world’s second busiest route.

However, with COVID-19 decimating air travel, Sydney to Melbourne has collapsed into pretty much… nothing.

Qantas and Virgin Australia were the top competitors on the route, previously offering dozens of flights each day between Australia’s two largest cities. Here’s what these two airlines are now offering.

Virgin Australia:


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The struggling airline has essentially downsized its network by 99%.

Virgin Australia will only operate one commercial route, Sydney to Melbourne, six times a week excluding Saturdays.

That’s it, along with a few repatriation flights.

Virgin Australia’s 6x weekly SYD-MEL schedule will last through June 15, 2020.

Qantas:


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Qantas on the other hand, is doing financially better, but is actually flying Sydney to Melbourne less than Virgin Australia.

Qantas itself will only operate the route five times a week with a 737-800.

It looks like Qantas’ subsidiary Jetstar will also operate the Sydney to Melbourne on specific days, but doesn’t appear to be close to daily.

Aside from this, Qantas will continue to maintain other routes in its network.


Sources/Images

Sources:
VA PR: https://newsroom.virginaustralia.com/release/domestic-schedule-changes
Qantas 5x weekly news: https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/virgin-australia-cuts-domestic-network-to-six-flights-a-week-20200409-p54iqc.html?btis
Additional info: https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/04/09/business/09reuters-health-coronavirus-virgin-australia.html

Images:
Virgin Australia 737: https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/9286780
Qantas 737: https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/9259889
Qantas 787: https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/9353785

Pretty much shows how devastating COVID-19 has affected aviation, especially in Australia.

As for the world’s busiest route, Jeju to Seoul-Gimpo, it looks like it’s continuing to maintain healthy frequencies.

The world’s third busiest route, Mumbai to Delhi, not so much. A few weeks ago, the Indian government forced airlines to suspend domestic and international flights until April 30.

6 Likes

🙃 Yikes. Hopefully this is all over soon so airlines can get back to how they were as soon and economically safely as possible.

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I hear barely any aircraft approaching Sydney now, sadly. It used to be ceaseless when the curfew wasn’t active, and even then, there were domestic freighter aircraft moving around. I’m glad to see more large cargo jets now.

Hang in there Virgin Australia!! Don’t want an Ansett 2.0

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Wow. The aviation business is sad right now. I hope airlines get back to the way they were before, where they were absolutely thriving.

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I’m deeply saddened in regards to what’s happening in the aviation industry.

But you know, this is good. Airlines slowing down their operations means this virus has a hard time spreading. What sucks is that traveling by plane for the rest of the year will be impossible. I’m not sure how the rules will change, but unlike some US officials, I’m not going to be optimistic to start freeing the economy and aviation related industries by May. XD

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Ouch. Not a good 100th celebration.

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