Virgin Australia will open a brand new domestic lounge in Adelaide by 2021 as part of broader terminal expansion works at Adelaide Airport, which will also pave the way for a new multi-airline lounge in the international precinct and upgrades to other facilities for passengers jetting abroad.
Also on the agenda are more retail and dining options in both the domestic and international sections of Adelaide Airport, with the entire terminal itself getting a facelift.
That begins with a new dedicated taxi drop-off road with an undercover walkway to the airport building…
… and a new look and feel to the airside zone:
The current retail and dining areas will be expanded in size by over 80%, with a new food and beverage precinct…
… and nearby, a new fashion precinct too:
The location, size and facilities of Virgin Australia’s new domestic lounge are currently under wraps, with Virgin Australia Group Executive Rob Sharp saying only that “the relocation of the Virgin Australia Lounge presents an exciting opportunity and we look forward to sharing more detail on our plans in due course.”
Still, it’s welcome news for Adelaide locals and regular visitors alike, as Virgin Australia’s current Adelaide lounge is far from the largest in its network, and can get very busy very quickly, despite a small extension to the current space back in 2016 which lifted capacity from 140 to 180 seats.
For passengers heading overseas from Adelaide (with any airline), there’ll also be an expanded international security screening area and passport control zone, doing away with the current bottlenecks in these spaces during peak times.
That’s followed by a new duty-free zone…
… and, in a first for Adelaide, a dedicated international departure gate, with better access to food and beverage and improved boarding facilities:
Adelaide Airport will retain its flexible ‘swing gate’ arrangements as well, allowing nearby gates to host both domestic and international flights as needed.
Another boost for international travellers will be a “common user” airport lounge located beyond passport control, that airlines may choose to use for their overseas passengers, and which may (or may not) welcome cardholders from independent lounge access schemes like Priority Pass.
Currently, Singapore Airlines runs the only ‘international’ lounge in Adelaide, with passengers travelling on other airlines directed to the Qantas and Virgin Australia domestic lounges in the same terminal, to relax before going through international security and passport control.
Passengers returning to Adelaide from their overseas trip will also find a bigger baggage hall with a second, longer baggage reclaim belt to cater for more flights and luggage:
“Since we opened the existing terminal in 2005, our overall passenger numbers have increased by close to 50 per cent. Our international passenger numbers alone have almost tripled over the same period,” said Adelaide Airport Managing Director Mark Young.
“This extraordinary growth means we need to keep growing our existing facilities. While we still have sufficient gate capacity to meet future forecast growth in the number of flights, we’re reaching capacity within the terminal,” he explains.
Work on the $165 million project begins this month and is expected to be completed by 2021.
Last month, travellers saw the first signs of improvement with the installation of a priority security screening line at the main domestic checkpoint, and an Express Path channel at the separate international security checkpoint for eligible frequent flyers and passengers in business class and first class.