Virgin Australia makes its long-awaited return to Samoa

Photo: Virgin Australia

Samoa’s harbourside capital of Apia is once again on the departures board for Virgin Australia, as the airline’s twice-weekly flight from Sydney returns to the sky from today, with Brisbane primed to restart on Thursday.

As expected, both routes feature Virgin’s workhorse Boeing 737 jets, which sport a comfortable business class and extra legroom Economy X seats suited for these relatively short flights. 

Virgin Australia’s Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Alistair Hartley says the return to Samoa is welcome news for travellers and an exciting step for the airline as it rebuilds its short-haul international network. Flights to Vanuatu also fire up this month.

“Samoa is well-known for its rich culture and friendly locals and has been a popular destination in the Virgin Australia network since 2005,” Hartley adds. 

Jetting off every Tuesday and Saturday from Sydney, the 5 hour 15 minute non-stop VA97 sees wheels up at a cheery 8:15am, with touchdown in time for the sunset at 4:30pm. 

It’s a quick turnaround on the return, as VA100 bids farewell to Apia’s Faleolo International Airport at 5:20pm, before landing just over 6 hours 30 minutes later at 8:55pm. 

Brisbane, on the other hand, sees a red-eye service to Apia every Thursday and Sunday. Leaving at 9:25pm, the 4 hour 45-minute hop touches down at 5:20am the following day. 

After soaking up the island’s charms, the VA74 return to Brisbane jets off from Apia at a similarly early 6:10am, arriving into the Queensland capital just under six hours later at 8:55am local time. 

Samoa and Vanuatu join Bali, Fiji and New Zealand’s adventure capital of Queenstown on Virgin’s route map, with Cairns to Tokyo set to take off from 28 June on the factory-fresh Boeing 737 MAX 8.