Photo gallery: Virgin Australia's new A330 business class seats

By David Flynn , August 17 2015
Photo gallery: Virgin Australia's new A330 business class seats

Virgin Australia's all-new Airbus A330 business class takes to the skies today, and we've got the first photos of the seats and cabin.

The pointy end of the upgraded Airbus A330s features 20 business class seats, four down from the previous count, due to Virgin's move from a 2-2-2 layout to a more passenger-friendly 1-2-1 configuration in which each traveller has direct access to the aisle.

The seats are made from a stylish carbon fibre shell, which has drawn inspiration from premium automotive interiors. It's been designed by Tangerine London, Virgin Australia Creative Director Hans Hulsbosch, and manufactured by B/E Aerospace. 

The seats are angled towards the window and have ample personal space in terms of both shelving and stowage nooks.

The side table is large enough to fit a magazine and a drink. 

Underneath that table is where you access the power and USB ports. You can leave your devices to charge even during take off. 

And there's plenty of space to work on the dining table.  

Next to you is a clever little storage area for the headphone case. 

At the seat, you're provided with a stylish pillow and blanket combo. 

For overnight flights such as the notorious red-eye services from Perth to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, the seat converts into a fully flat bed that's topped with a memory foam mattress and high-grade cotton pillows and doonas.

The seat's wrap-around shell adds privacy and makes it a little more of a 'suite'.

The middle pairs of seats are angled towards one another, with a perspex privacy screen which slides back so you can chat with your seatmate.

The high definition 16" display features Virgin's new user interface. 

And interesting new features like group chat. 

A second display on the side of the seat allows you to change your position without interrupting the entertainment. 

The new meals are available available at any time during the flight, as well as an 'express dining' service for when work (or sleep) trumps meals.

Here's one Virgin Australia's head chef Luke Mangan prepared earlier. 

There's also a new Nespresso coffee service, using the world's first custom-designed Nespresso machine to be fitted to an Airbus A330, which Virgin promises will "deliver the finest coffee in the sky."

Read more: Virgin Australia launches new A330 business class seats & service

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Can't wait to fly on it to Fiji on 17 October and back on 24th!

Virgin you rock!

:-p

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Does the A330 fly to Fiji? 

Does someone have a list of A330 routes? I'd love to find an excuse to burn some miles trying this out.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 269

SYD-NAN-SYD on Saturdays.

SYD/MEL/BNE-PER vv daily (with multiple frequencies).

Possibly/hopefully Triangle Route in the future.

VA Platinum

26 Mar 2014

Total posts 117

Ohhhhh yes! I hope the "new J seat lottery gods" are kind to me for my transcon travel for the remainder of the year! Can't wait to try this! 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Jan 2013

Total posts 4

Which Aircraft is this?

VA Platinum

26 Mar 2014

Total posts 117

A330 as it says in the first sentence of the article. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jan 2014

Total posts 9

I think Steve meant which registration.

VA Platinum

26 Mar 2014

Total posts 117

VH-XFH

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Jan 2013

Total posts 4

Thanks

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Jan 2013

Total posts 4

Sorry, I will be sure to be more specific in the next comment

IMO this is easily one of the world's sexiest airline cabins, and VERY "my taste."

And now they've got dine on demand service? Awesome. VA really knows how to impress. I think they've been very successful at positioning this product as "Diet First Class."

When the 777s get refurbed, this will easily be the best trans-Pacific choice. Qantas will really need to get those A380s refreshed with the Business Suite and those Dreamliners into the fleet ASAP.

Good work, Virgin!

12 Feb 2014

Total posts 229

It looks stylish and brilliant. Hope we can get a full service review ASAP David.

With this reveal, Australia can claim to have the best domestic airlines in the world.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 269

WOW! Just WOW! Looks absolutely incredible and much more appealing than the new QF Suites.

Though not too sure about the clear divider... Though that's easy fixed, choose a window seat!

Well done VA!

Serious? with that boring scheme? Ive flown the QF suites and they are beautiful, like any luxury car leather interior.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 705

15 years ago, this was basically the standard of First Class on a Qantas 744.  That it is now offered as a Business Class product on a domestic service is amazing.

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 92

If only VA would take up the SYD HKG route with this Business class,I can just wish.

yes please! we all know it has to be SYD-HKG-SYD the next to be announced, but when will they announce/start it... so we can ALL get to HKG!?

 

JB earlier advised they were launching 2-3 new international routes. Was Fiji one of those???

The next 2 being HKG and?

Lufthansa - Miles & More

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 185

One could only hope for London 

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 92

My thoughts exactly... Virgin Australia to HKG connecting to Virgin Atlantic onto LHR and then even....onto JFK or LAX connecting again to Virgin Australia from LAX to SYD. Perfect!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

David and Chris will no dount update us when any announcement are made.

London isn't probably viable given that this market is already crowded and Etihad and Singapore Airlines have covered those bases for VA. 

HKG could be possible although they'd be competing with Cathay's frequency. There was a reason Virgin Atlantic could never make that route work.

They would also want a port where they could get plenty of codeshare traffic to help fill seats. Am thinking Singapore? They could do 1 flight a day ex BNE or MEL which codes with SQ. Both airlines now have Premium Economy products and they could attack Qantas head on given they've held back on PE on the A330s. Time it so it links with SQ connections to Europe.

K/Lumpur is a small market but with MH reducing capacity, could be an opportunity. Still, it's mainly leisure traffic and VA would be looking for a market that is able to give them a good ROI on their new products where they can charge top $$.

CX frequency, is not alighned to NZ, VA, VS, SQ in alliance terms...

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 130

It looks amazing

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

This has surely got to be the best domestic business cabin in the sky, very closely followed by Qantas.  Heck, I'd be very happy with it on an Ultra Long Haul Flight....

Zac
Zac

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2014

Total posts 128

This looks absolutely fabulous -  well done to Virgin, can't wait to try it out. And to think this is a domestic business product - wow. Also helps reinforce the decision to go with Virgin as my primary carrier + FF program.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Expect to see some more photos soon as the flight lands in about 40 minutes into perth!

#onboardwifisoon?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Yeh VA said it may soon happen #thanksNBNsat

Thats was back in 2014 so who knows what's happened since then

24 Apr 2013

Total posts 18

Just came off this flight an hour ago. All I can say is it is AMAZING and trumps Qantas by a long shot in my opinion.

 

12 Feb 2014

Total posts 229

Lots of commentary comparing the new Qantas and Virgin suites, but I'm not sure all are based on direct experience of both. I'll wait for David and Chris to provide an expert eye on the two offerings. They both look terrific. I suspect the sliding panel between the the two centre seats though might just give Virgin the edge at this early stage. It's all in the usage though. Fun to to see Borghetti and Joyce glamming it up with the carefully selected FAs for the promo shots, and it's another thing for real customers to try the product on a longer flight. This is like UFC in the skies.

Singapore PPS club

22 Aug 2015

Total posts 4

Having flown both , there's really no comparison.

David omitted to mention the FRENCH champagne available before take off, and the exeptionl choice of wines on Virgin east coast to Perth.

I'm a QF platinum rather disgruntled by the (often) lazy service on business class (which can be appalling -especially internationally) who's been VERY impressed by the Virgin sevice and its partner SQ for international legs.  And it's cheaper - a "no brainer" as the Americans would say.

Wooh, pretty average, no where near as nice as the Qantas suites. Whats with the grey and black 'colour' scheme? Also kinda looks like a rip off of the QF product too, but i suppose thats the only way to do the 1,2,1 config.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

I thought VA announced their's first

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 705

I'm puzzled how you would think an angled seat set-up featuring brushed chrome and carbon fibre can be construed as a rip-off of a straight seating set-up featuring a timber look.

They are both very good products and neither are truly original as they are developments of off-the-shelf J class seats but they are both very different which is good.

Also nice to see the coffee pod waste generated through the use of pods. Wonder how many wasted pods there will be a year. 

Anyone else think the colour scheme looks like a government detention centre?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

If you don't want waste a few pods then don't fly Virgin or don't get the coffee!

Type into google "nespresso pods recycling" and you will find the nespresso acutally recycle the pods after use and I would imagine that Virgin may do the same of Domestic flights.

It would not be allowed on international flight due to waste restrictions though.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 705

No, can't say I've seen many setention centres built from leather, brushed chrome and carbon fibre but I guess anything's possible.

British Airways Executive Club Gold

25 Jun 2015

Total posts 22

It looks quite similar to QR's J on 787/A350/A380s. Having yesterday flown ARN-DOH in J on a QR 787, if VA's seat is indeed like QRs then I think that they are on to an absolute winner with it.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 125

I'm curious to hear how much room there is in the footwell.  I just flew Air Canada's version of this seat and found it quite tight in the feet because of the tray table tucked under the monitor.  It looks like Virgin has gone for the same setup.  As I recall, on Cathay the table comes from beside the seat, so the footwell was more spacious.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Aug 2015

Total posts 2

Looks great. And good to see another Monocle fan too!


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