SYDNEY, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- In a sign that Australia's domestic flight services are gearing up for post-COVID business, Virgin Australia said on Tuesday that it would introduce two new services from the island state of Tasmania to the nation's mainland.
The services, to begin next month, will be direct flights three times a week between the Tasmanian capital of Hobart and Perth, the capital of Western Australia, and Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.
The news follows other announcements made by Virgin Australia, which is the second largest airline in Australia after Qantas, in the past month, including the commencement of two new services from the Tasmanian city of Launceston to Adelaide.
Virgin Australia senior strategy officer Alistair Hartley said Tuesday's announcement would mean more Australians would be able to reconnect with their loved ones in time for Christmas.
"Virgin Australia continues to look for new ways to expand our network schedule to create more travel opportunities for Australians where free movement across borders is permitted," Hartley said.
"Over the past month, Virgin Australia has already announced two new Tasmanian services, so together that's up to 18,000 more travellers who are able to explore the Apple Isle's incredible tourist attractions and natural wonders."
Hartley noted that the airline was now the only one to connect both Launceston and Hobart to five state capital cities: Brisbane in Queensland, Sydney in New South Wales, Melbourne in Victoria, Adelaide and Perth.
Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka has said that frontline team members will have to be vaccinated by Nov. 15 while office-based staff would need to receive their jabs by March 31 next year.
The airline also wants all its suppliers, including catering staff, to be fully vaccinated.