Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia have today resumed their domestic flights on a limited schedule, while maintaining social distancing rules on board.
In a statement, Virgin confirmed a deal had been struck with the Australian Government.
"Virgin Australia is pleased to respond to a request from the Federal Government to resume flying a minimal domestic schedule of commercial services commencing Friday 17 April, 2020.
"The schedule will operate for a period of eight weeks, until 7 June 2020, and flights are on sale now through our website."
Guests who were previously booked to travel between 17-29 April will be given additional flexibility with a new booking, including the ability to rebook their ticket to any day or service within that period.
"We will also continue to support the Australian Government with repatriation flights between Los Angeles and Hong Kong to help bring Australians home and maintain important freight links in and out of the country," the airline said.
Qantas and Jetstar will also form part of the "minimum domestic and regional network" the government is supporting.
This will see the number of passener flights they operate increase from 105 per week currently to 164 per week to all capital cities and 36 regional destinations.
In a statement, Qantas said while travel restrictions mean most passenger flights are not commercially viable at the moment, there remains a need for some essential travel – particularly given the distances between most Australian cities.
"These flights will also provide critical freight capacity, which has fallen significantly as commercial air networks have shrunk. Much of the bellyspace on these flights will be used for mail and other urgent shipments, including medical equipment," it said.
The temporary regional network focuses on towns that are more than two hours' drive from key transport hubs.
Qantas also said while the risk of contracting Coronavirus on board an aircraft is regarded as low, social distancing has been put in place across all flights.
Similarly, on-board service is a scaled back version of what would normally apply, with cabin crew focused on in-flight safety and wearing personal protective equipment.
"These flights will also provide critical freight capacity, which has fallen significantly as commercial air networks have shrunk. Much of the bellyspace on these flights will be used for mail and other urgent shipments, including medical equipment."
The domestic and regional networks operated by Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar are in addition to a small number of international flights and ongoing operations by Qantas Freight as part of the Australian national carrier's role in maintaining critical transport links.