Seat guide: Virgin Australia Airbus A330 business class

By David Flynn, May 4 2011
Seat guide: Virgin Australia Airbus A330 business class

Virgin Australia's new Airbus A330 will ply the skies between Sydney and Perth as a daily service from Thursday May 26, with three flights per day by July.

Australian Business Traveller recently had the opportunity to scope out the airline's first A330, sit in the seats and take plenty of photos. Here's your first look at the Virgin Australia's A330 business class seats.

(Travelling down the back of the bus? Check out our guide to Virgin Australia's A330's economy class seats and cabin.) 

The business class cabin on Virgin Australia's A330s consists of 27 seats in four rows, three of which have a 2-3-2 layout (behind a single 2-2-2 row at the front).

The leather seats are wide, soft and quite luxurious have a deep recline, although they're not lie-flat.

That won't be an issue for daytime services, but the lack of a fully lie-flat seat might bother some sleep-craving travellers once Virgin Australia starts overnight 'red-eye' flights between Perth and Sydney.

Most controversial will be the inclusion of a middle seat, which is generally loathed by frequent flyers – and not just those stuck in the middle but the passengers either side of them  as they're the ones who have to put up with some squeezing past them.

(The uproar from business travellers was so loud when Qantas introduced a similar arrangement on its own factory-fresh Airbus A330s earlier this year that the airline was forced to do an about-face and remove the middle seat).

These really are the type of seats you'd expect on an international airline, through to the comfortable amply-padded headrests and the individual swing-down reading lamps.

Virgin Australia is making much of the "international-class amenities" provided to each customer.

This includes a set of noise-cancelling headphones.

These are actual powered noise-cancelling units, not the passive noise-reducing headphones which Qantas will be handing out on its Boeing 747 Sydney-Perth service (which coincidentally begins on May 30, just four days after Virgin Australia).

The toiletries pack includes BVLGARI moisturiser along with the mandatory socks, eyemask, earplugs and toothbrush & toothpaste.

As for meals, masterchef Luke Mangan is on the job with a menu selection which Virgin Australia cheekily assures us is "prepared on-board, not simply reheated" (a shot at Qantas, following revelations earlier this week that almost all meals the airline served were frozen with a use-by date of up to 12 months in advance and then reheated in the galley).

We'll have a full report on the Luke Mangan's business class meals tomorrow. Consider this glimpse an appetiser, if you will...


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.

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