On 4 February 2008, Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia) commenced direct scheduled services between Sydney and Port Macquarie. The flights operate daily in the morning. The service used to be conducted by an Embraer E-170 aircraft, and is the first scheduled jet service for the airport. On 19 October 2011, Virgin Australia's ATR 72 departed on its first flight to Brisbane. Connections are offered to all major Australian cities via Sydney. An increase to twice-daily service commenced 4 August 2008.
Competition by Virgin resulted in a significant drop in fare prices for the Port Macquarie - Sydney route, where Qantas previously operated a monopoly after Hazelton Airlines ceased services in 2001.
On 28 July 2011, Virgin Australia (in partnership with Skywest Airlines) announced its intention to commence a daily Brisbane to Port Macquarie service from October 2011. Subject to regulatory approval, the flight will be operated by the airline's newly delivered ATR 72 aircraft on a once-daily basis. The airline also announced that, as a result of the removal of Embraer 170 aircraft from its fleet, Sydney to Port Macquarie services would also be operated by ATR72 aircraft.
Connections to Brisbane (via Coffs Harbour) by Brindabella Airlines ceased 31 December 2010, citing poor loads on the route. Despite this, Virgin Australia entered the route on 19 October 2011 as a daily service with their ATR72 aircraft.