Business class on all Virgin jet flights nationwide from January

By John Walton, November 7 2011

All domestic Virgin Australia jet flights will see business class from 18 January 2012, with the airline's A330, Boeing 737 and Embraer planes losing premium economy in favour of domestic business class seats by then.

The move excludes New Zealand and Pacific Island flights on Virgin's Pacific Blue subsidiary, as well as the ATR 72 turboprop planes that run on some regional Queensland routes and on the Capital Connect Canberra flights.

It's the latest move in Virgin's attempts to woo Australian business travellers away from Qantas, and follows news last week that all "triangle" flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane would have business class from January.

Virgin Australia's CEO John Borghetti is certainly keen to spruik his airline's business travel offerings in the wake of the Qantas strikes. "Our new Business Class product is a key part of our strategy to reposition Virgin Australia as the airline of choice," Borghetti said.

For in-depth information on Virgin's seats and cabins, don't miss our article outlining Virgin Australia's Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 planes. 

On board the 737, there are two rows of business class in a 2-2 configuration, with a standard domestic business 38 inch seat pitch. (Pitch is the distance between your seat back and the one in front: the space that's yours during the flight.)

Here's what business class on Virgin's 737s looks like: business-like, with a funky purple divider inspired by sister airline Virgin America.

The A330, however, sees a more spacious seating arrangement, with a 2-3-2 layout and 62 inches of pitch.

The A330 cabin is larger and wider, with more seats and more legroom.

We've reviewed the A330 seats on the Perth-Sydney route, but they'll also be seen on the Triangle from January.

Introductory fares will start at $359 (Brisbane-Newcastle flights are the cheapest on the network), making it a little easier for frequent flyers to persuade their travel departments to cough up for business class on the routes.

Keen-eyed frequent flyers thinking about requalifying for Platinum or Gold status will also have noticed that the dates of the introductory fares also coincide with Virgin's Velocity Frequent Flyer double status credits promotion, which lasts until 31 January 2012.

John Walton
John Walton

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

Noob

Noob

Virgin Australia - Velocity Frequent Flyer

28 May 2011

Total posts 81

Apprently the entire 737 fleet will be refitted with the new cabins by the end of this calender year. 

johnaboxall

johnaboxall

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 728

All Virgin need now is an evening NTL-MEL flight and they're perfect...

bbowring

bbowring

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Oct 2011

Total posts 11

Hi John,

Is it your understanding that Business Class will be rolled out to replace premium econonmy on the 737-700 Aircraft as well as on the larger, newer fleet of 737-800s?

John Walton

John Walton

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 673

Yep, Virgin confirmed to us that the -700s will have Business.

haydensydney

haydensydney

07 Nov 2011

Total posts 11

Any word on when Pacific Blue will have the new config?

I have a 6 hour DPS-SYD in late December, and doing that in the god awful premium economy is making me nervous. Of course if the aircraft is fitted out in the new business class - I will be much happier.

John Walton

John Walton

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 673

Sorry Hayden, none as yet. I keep pressing them for dates (in some self-interest because I'm based in WLG!) but as yet nothing. You'll know as soon as we do...but I wouldn't bet on late December if there's been no announcement so far.

Yusef Danet

Yusef Danet

20 Oct 2011

Total posts 77

Hayden, although the DPS flights will be sold with PE until 18 Jan, most if not all of the intl config -800s will be converted by early Dec, so you'll likely get the BC seat on a PE fare.

Yusef Danet

Yusef Danet

20 Oct 2011

Total posts 77

That will be a very big day for VA. Although the announcement says all 737 and E jet flights, a quick look at the website shows no business class fares on typical E jet routes like MEL-MQL or Perth to Newman.

mittavalleycomp

mittavalleycomp

Qantas

01 Jun 2011

Total posts 5

So John are you saying that Virgin will offer business class on the E-jets operating on the ABX-SYD route? if that is the case (and depending on fares) I may have to reconsider my loyalty to QF .

John Walton

John Walton

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 673

That's what Virgin is saying, yes!


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