Virgin Australia will reopen its Canberra Airport lounge in early 2021, following a review of the capital city's role in the rebuilt VA2 network.
However, the fate of Virgin’s separate invitation-only The Club lounges remains in doubt – particularly as the airline adopts a mid-market strategy with a reduced focus on corporate travellers, rather than emulating the full-service approach of rival Qantas.
“We're pleased to confirm our Canberra Lounge will reopen in the New Year,” a Virgin Australia spokesperson tells Executive Traveller.
“Our Club lounges remain under review until we’re able to reassess travel demand from the corporate sector in the new year.”
Speaking at last week's CAPA Live online conference, Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka allowed that the airline “will have seven lounges, in the biggest ports.”
Virgin had previously committed to retaining lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth Terminal 1 and on the Gold Coast, but accepts that the size of its network falls well short of the competition.
“Qantas will have a much bigger lounge network that reaches into small regional airports,” Hrdlicka acknowledges.
However, she justifies that “our most valued guests have told us what they want, and where they want it, and we're doing exactly that.”
The return of Virgin Australia’s lounge network
In fact, Melbourne travellers are currently treated to The Club, which has temporarily replaced the airline's public lounge while maintenance works take place.
Lounges in Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast – plus Canberra, of course – will then reopen in early 2021.
The airline has previously advised that its lounges in Alice Springs, Cairns, Darwin, Mackay, Perth T2 and Wellington will not return.