Executive Traveller exclusive
Virgin Australia will cut the ribbon on its all-new Adelaide on Tuesday February 23, revealing a fresh look compared to the familiar design of its other domestic airport lounges.
The official opening and media preview comes as the airline continues to rebuild its domestic lounge network.
As previously reported, this will now include Canberra, which is scheduled for an "early 2021 re-opening", although the fate of The Club lounges and indeed Virgin's invitation-only The Club tier remains unknown.
The Adelaide lounge was previously slated to open in April 2020, but COVID-19 and Virgin's collapse into administration – to be rescued by US private equity firm Bain Capital in a $3.5 billion sale – resulted in an almost 12-month delay.
The airline says Adelaide's "reimagined" design will provide travellers "with an experience and aesthetic more aligned to the Virgin brand they know and love."
Virgin intends to roll out this same style as an update to all other domestic lounges, which to date have drawn from a template created by Sydney’s Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects that debuted at Virgin’s Melbourne Airport lounge in May 2011.
Photos of Virgin's new Adelaide lounge sighted by Executive Traveller show an open, airy and light-filled space with a variety of seating, from dining for two to communal tables and raised tile-clad benches, and a serviced coffee and drinks bar called 'Wind-Down'.
It's decidedly more casual than corporate, with a softer contemporary palette of white, blue and grey, and a variety of textures.
Virgin's new-look lounge program was kick-started by former CEO Paul Scurrah, who hinted at a more relaxed vibe when he first revealed his plans to Executive Traveller in September 2019.
"I’ve spent a lot of time in airport lounges and I know just how important they are to our passengers, especially a lounge that actually makes it feel relaxing before you travel," said Scurrah, who was ousted by Bain in favour of Jayne Hrdlicka in November 2020 and now remains on 'extended gardening leave'.
Asked what made a good lounge experience, he said "I value space, power, WiFi, good coffee and good food – it’s the little things that matter most."