Date: 9 September 2020
The Australian Government is providing additional flight services between Perth, Christmas Island (CI) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) over the next four months, to address increased freight and passenger demand in the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT).
In addition to regular twice-weekly passenger and fortnightly freight services, Virgin Australia will be offering a new IOT flight (Perth to CI to CKI to Perth) on the following dates:
- Sunday, 27 September 2020
- Sunday, 11 October 2020
- Sunday, 8 November 2020
- Sunday, 22 November 2020
- Sunday, 20 December 2020
These dates have been chosen to limit the amount of IOT freight build-up between the fortnightly air freighter, while also offering additional passenger seats in what are traditional peak travel periods. Flight times will be available through Virgin.
Each of these additional services can carry up to 5 tonnes of additional freight to the IOT. Passenger numbers out of Perth will be limited to ensure sufficient freight volumes can be carried.
The additional services will also support the ongoing economic recovery of the IOT as the Government continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the local CI and CKI economies.
Since April 2020, the regular Virgin Australia flights to the IOT have averaged close to 21,000kgs of freight per month. In July 2020, Virgin Australia uplifted almost as much freight (98 per cent) as the dedicated freighter service.
The Government is also amending the dedicated air freight service schedule, to maximise the amount of IOT freight that can be transported prior to the Christmas period. The air freighter will now run on the following dates in December 2020 and January 2021:
- Friday, 11 December 2020
- Friday, 18 December 2020
- Friday, 1 January 2021
- Friday, 15 January 2021
- Friday, 29 January 2021
Freighter services will continue on a fortnightly basis from 29 January 2021 onwards.
The IOT passenger services and freight flights are fully underwritten by the Australian Government, which provides significant investment in air services to CI and CKI
The Government will continue to monitor IOT air services and adjust capacity as required.
Mrs Natasha Griggs
Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands