Virgin Australia ups its game this week with the launch of trans-Tasman business class between Sydney and Auckland – giving travellers even more choice when hopping across the pond for business or pleasure.
Kicking off on flight VA144 this coming Saturday, business class will be offered on every Virgin Australia flight between Australia and New Zealand by March 31: including from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington and Dunedin.
Passengers at the pointy end will find Virgin Australia’s domestic-style black leather seats, with plenty of room to work on their laptop or to unwind with a movie – beamed out to airline-supplied Samsung tablets over Wi-Fi.
Passengers can also enjoy the same content selections on their own gadgets including iPads, laptops and smartphones via the streaming inflight entertainment system, and can charge their devices with on-board AC power.
Replacing the premium economy seats that formerly appeared on the airline’s Australian domestic flights, business class passengers will find the cabin in a more spacious 2-2 arrangement rather than the current 3-3, which comes with the centre seat blocked off in place of a cocktail table.
On the ground in both Sydney and Auckland, Virgin Australia sends business class guests and Gold and Platinum frequent flyers to Air New Zealand’s Koru Club lounges.
It's not quite the Qantas First Lounge as the Red Roo’s Platinum frequent flyers would enjoy in Sydney before a trans-Tasman journey, although the Sydney Koru Club is currently undergoing renovations to adapt a more modern feel, similar to the Air NZ-managed Star Alliance business class lounge at LAX:
Read our full review: Star Alliance business class lounge at LAX
During the refurbishments passengers can stop by the temporary Air New Zealand lounge in Sydney Airport’s Pier C between gates 50 and 63, which has much the same amenities as the previous lounge.
The Kiwi carrier is also slated to be upgrading its international lounge at Auckland Airport later this year, giving Virgin Australia’s Sydney-based passengers shiny new lounges to enjoy at both ends of their journey.
Chris Chamberlin will travel to Auckland on Virgin Australia’s inaugural Australia-New Zealand business class flight as a guest of the airline.
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