Virgin Australia launches trans-Tasman business class this week

By Chris C., February 23 2015
Virgin Australia launches trans-Tasman business class this week

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.

Also read: Five ways to fly Sydney-Auckland in business class

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 698

Look forward to your report Chris. I'm pleased this change is rolling out on schedule.

I'm flying VA144 business on the 14th to push me over to Velocity Gold so looking forward to your report Chris!

Lufthansa - Miles & More

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 182

Well it cant be any worse than anz narrow body flights across the tasmanian. Just hope that they get the ife system to work because both times I have used it it has not worked :(

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2011

Total posts 186

Worked fine for me on a domestic MEL-ADL last weekend, infact it was much better than the QF streaming to iPad last month on a Qantaslink SYD-ADL flight - which was just woefully slow to load. To the point I gave up.  VA's allowed me a decent connection to some decent doco's

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 698

I've yet to have a flight on VA where I've been without Enterain (it's streaming IFE), and only one flight where a reset was required (and I have had plenty of VA flights). Suggest you delete the app and reinstall, just to make sure it's a software issue.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 502

I swear Qantas and Virgin are at war in New Zealand and Perth with all this stuff.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 441

Interested to know, given the fairly long flight time, whether the meal service will be a one-tray affair or staggered courses more like the C-2-C offering.

Flew Y+ APW-AKL-MEL last year and was not impressed at all - its a product that doesnt make any sense.

However if you want business class from SYD - WLG - you're entirely out of luck!

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2438

Virgin doesn't fly that particular route (although codeshares on an all-economy Air NZ flight), but if you're super keen you can always fly via Brisbane and jump on VA's Brisbane-Wellington service in business class. my point ;-)

You can't get Business Class from Sydney to Wellington.

Captial of NZ, Largest City in AU.


"as a busy executive".. I don't have time for a detour via BrisVegas. Maybe VA could take over an NZ slot?

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