EXCLUSIVE | Virgin Australia is revamping the meal and drink service across its domestic flights as the airline attempts to gain altitude against a resurgent Qantas.
Australian Business Traveller understands that several changes are being considered for both the business class and economy cabins, with the relaunch expected to take place before the end of August.
A Virgin Australia spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that the airline "is reviewing its catering offering across the network, and we look forward to sharing more detail soon."
Sparkling wine for domestic business class passengers is said to be on the menu. Virgin currently serves Champagne in business class only on its international flights to the Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
However, exactly what would be offered on domestic routes depends on who will make the final call: airline CEO John Borghetti is a true Champagne man, but we'd wager that the airline's financial controllers would prefer an Australian sparkling.
Economy travellers can expect more substantial 'complimentary snacks' – which these days tend to be along the lines of a small muesli bar, a tea cake or muffin, a finger sandwich or cheese and crackers on all domestic routes bar east-west flights, where a hot meal is served.
Virgin is also mulling the introduction of pre-purchased meals for economy as an alternative or potentially a replacement to the current 'buy on board' system.
The airline has previously floated this idea during a series of closed-door focus groups held with its Velocity Frequent Flyer members in December 2016 – the same focus groups which canvassed the creation of an 'economy plus' package based on extra legroom rows, which later morphed into Virgin's Economy X which launched in March of this year.
One of the airline's suggestions during those workshops was that economy class passengers might buy their meals and snacks from trolleys or kiosks at the departure gate.
This could minimise wastage as well as operational costs compared to meals loaded onto the flight and sold (or not) en route.
If you currently travel on Virgin Australia domestic flights, what's your take on the proposed changes - and what other changes would you like to see made to the airline's inflight catering?