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Virgin Australia is gearing up for the next stage of the 'transcontinental turf war' over Australia's east-west routes in response to Qantas' plans to roll out all-new Business Suites on its Airbus A330 fleet.
Virgin currently boasts the better business class for its A330 'Coast to Coast' service between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, with an international-grade angled flat bed in a 2-2-2 configuration.
But Qantas yesterday revealed its new Business Suites, which up the ante to a fully lie-flat bed in a 1-2-1 configuration – although the Red Roo's new seats won't make their debut until late 2014, giving Virgin Australia at least one year's start.
"My first reaction (on seeing the new Qantas suite) was almost to send Alan Joyce a 'thank you' note for showing me with over a year's lead time what he's going to be doing with the product" Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti told Australian Business Traveller when asked about his thoughts on the new seat.
Borghetti isn't fazed by the design, and hints that he has something even better up his tailored sleeve.
"We're certainly not sitting on our hands" Borghetti said. "This is now business as usual. Product lifecycles are getting shorter and shorter and you have to plan faster and faster."
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