MIAMI – Just hours after Rex Airlines (ZL) announced a ticket fare deal on the lucrative Sydney (SYD)-Melbourne (MEL) run, Virgin Australia (VA) followed suit and matched the $49 one-way proposed by ZL.

The new fare is a good deal for passengers since it scales down costs from $79 charged by both VA and ZL, and $109, a higher fare applied by Qantas Airways (QF). On the same occasion, VA also confirmed it would match QF’s more generous policy of waiving the fees passengers have to pay to re-book flights. QF had announced the policy on Monday, February 8.

“Today, we have raised the bar even higher – matching some of the lowest airfares in the market – complete with checked-baggage, seat selection, double Velocity Points on eligible bookings and of course, our award-winning service,” said VA while adding that “we have also extended our booking flexibility for travel until January 31, 2022, when customers book before April 30, 2021, to give travelers peace of mind that they can book now and easily change the date of their flight if they need to.”

Photo: Regional Express Airlines (VH-REX) Saab 340B at Wagga Wagga Airport. Bidgee, CC BY-SA 3.0 AU, via Wikimedia Commons

The Golden Triangle

The “air battle” takes place in the so-called “Golden Triangle”, an highly profitable sector spanning between New South Wales (NSW) where Sydney (SYD) is located, Victoria, home of Melbourne (MEL), and Queensland where Brisbane (BNE) is located.

Virgin Australia is fighting back notwithstanding it had voluntarily declared itself in receivership in April 2020, because of Covid-19 pandemics difficulties, and was finally acquired by Bain Capital in November 2020.

Featured image: Brandon Farris/Airways