Virgin Australia's Canberra lounge is back in business, reopening its doors almost a year after the airline shuttered its entire lounge network in the face of COVID-19 and some 11 months since Virgin itself collapsed into administration, to be bought out by US-based Bain Capital.
In some ways, the return of the compact Canberra lounge – appreciated for its somewhat boutique feel and airfield views – is another milestone for the return of Virgin Australia.
The airline's entire domestic lounge network is now in place, with the new Adelaide lounge showing a fresh look which will eventually be seen in its siblings.
(However, as previously reported, Virgin's lounges at Alice Springs, Cairns, Darwin, Mackay and Perth T2 will remain closed for good.)
"As travel demand continues to strengthen, and state borders remain open, we’re excited to offer a fantastic network of domestic lounges for our frequent flyers to access at major airports around Australia," a Virgin Australia spokesman said.
Virgin says the Canberra lounge includes an updated menu "including a selection of sandwiches, salads, wraps and healthy snacks, prepared on site, and served from a hosted bar."
That said, the airline's intentions for Canberra itself remain up in the air, with no flights between Sydney and Canberra, and two daily services each from Brisbane and Melbourne.
Virgin has previously announced plans to partner with Alliance Airlines on scores of domestic routes including Sydney-Canberra, Melbourne-Canberra and Adelaide-Canberra which were better suited to Alliance's fleet of smaller regional aircraft – ironically including Embraer E190 jets which Virgin used to fly until 2018 – than Virgin's new Boeing 737-only model.
Virgin is also readying for the relaunch of its Boeing 737 business class experience, which the airline aims to have flying by the start of April.