Virgin Australia delays return to New Zealand until at least June 19

The airline had been selling tickets anticipating a return in March.
The airline had been selling tickets anticipating a return in March. Photo credit: Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia has suspended the sale of all short-haul international services until at least June 19, 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to restrict air travel.

The airline had been selling seats to and from New Zealand from March 28, 2021 - but those flights have now been cancelled.

Virgin Australia says due to ongoing uncertainty around the trans-Tasman travel bubble and in order to manage customer expectation, it has suspended selling of seats on flights between Australia, Aotearoa and the Pacific.

In a statement, the airline says it "remains flexible" in its approach to short-haul international flying and that the sale of flights may recommence should circumstances change. 

"We are closely monitoring the developments should quarantine-free travel between Australia and New  Zealand... occur and demand for travel returns," an airline spokesperson said.

"Because of ongoing international border closures and Government restrictions, it is likely to be an extended period of time before we're able to appropriately resume short-haul international flying. 

"We are hopeful that countries will develop safe-travel zones but need to be realistic considering operational limitations and the uncertainty around frameworks that support the sensible opening and closing of borders."

The airline says anyone who has already purchased tickets on the now-cancelled services will be contacted directly.