Virgin Australia to expand Melbourne lounge, but Hobart slips to 2014

By David Flynn, February 26 2013

Virgin Australia will expand its Melbourne lounge this year, and open new lounges in Canberra and Cairns, but Hobart travellers will need to cool their heels until 2014.

Canberra is up first, with not one but two lounges to open their doors in the Canberra Airport’s new Western Concourse Terminal, which is due to open on March 13.

In addition to the standard Virgin lounge for business class travellers, lounge members and Platinum and Gold cardholders in the Velocity frequent flyer scheme there’ll also be an addition to The Club network of Virgin’s invitation-only lounges for hosting politicians, top-level executives and other VIPs.

A new regional lounge in Cairns will follow in the third quarter of this year, and is likely to be based on Virgin Australia's 'regional lounge' model, similar to the airline's lounge at Mackay Airport (shown below).

Hobart and Cairns will get Virgin's 'regional lounge' treatment
Hobart and Cairns will get Virgin's 'regional lounge' treatment

The airline’s Melbourne lounge will see a “significant increase in size”, Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti tells Australian Business Traveller, “and we’ll also be adding some new facilities to it, which we want to keep quiet for now.”

“The problem with Melbourne – and it's a good problem to have – is that when we built it with 80 or 100 percent more seating capacity than the old one, we were expecting it to last us for another two or three years” Borghetti explains.

"The fact is that we're coming close to capacity during peak times, (because) demand has been so strong.”

The transformation of Sydney’s flagship lounge, which now sports an upstairs area, will take a little longer than expected, Borghetti also says.

“We've slowed the progress down because demand is such that, if we shut the lounge, we're going to turn people away for a month or so. So we're doing it in pieces, and that takes a little bit longer.”

The sad news in the schedule is that Virgin’s Hobart lounge, which was previously slated for this year, now won’t open until 2014.

“We're working with the airport authorities and it will be mid-2014”, although Borghetti joked “it could be early 2014, I always push for a bit earlier!”. 

Keep up to date with the latest news for business travellers and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.

David

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Oct 2012

Total posts 122

Ahh remember the old Melbourne  ANSETT Golden Wing lounge? now that was ahead of its time..

Any news on the DRW lounge?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

29 Aug 2012

Total posts 23

Last I heard from the people at Darwin Airport is mid-late 2014.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2012

Total posts 268

Virgin seems to be delaying their lounges a bit, originally they claimed that the full Sydney lounge would be opened at the end of 2012, but only the first small area was open. However, can't wait for the Canberra airport and the (already-good) Melbourne lounge extension!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Dec 2012

Total posts 168

Looking forward to checking out the Canberra lounge at the end of March. Am going to Perth. Does anyone know the state of the Perth Airport (Virgin Lounge) due to the renos?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Jan 2012

Total posts 335

I'm still puzzled as to the possible locations for this Hobart lounge. Does anyone know where they are likely to locate the lounge in the (rather small, but full) terminal?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

29 Aug 2012

Total posts 23

The only logical solution (in my mind) is to do a Gold Coast and go upstairs...

Like yourself - I don't see anywhere feasible within the present terminal proper where a Lounge could be situated. When I was last in HBA, the staff told me that the new Lounge would be situated near the Qantas Club, but there clearly isn't room for anything on the ground level. So perhaps above the Qantas Club?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

03 Aug 2013

Total posts 8

They are extending and putting a virgin lounge and possibly a qantas business lounge on the roof. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Jan 2012

Total posts 335

Good to hear something on this... where did you hear this?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

03 Aug 2013

Total posts 8

On the mercury website it said that plus it was on wikipedia

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

Good to see that they're increasing the size in Melbourne. It's nicely laid out but it does get a lot more people now thatn it did 12 months ago


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Virgin Australia to expand Melbourne lounge, but Hobart slips to 2014