Virgin Australia to use Etihad lounge for Sydney-Hong Kong flights

By David Flynn, June 22 2018

With Virgin Australia's daily Sydney-Hong Kong flights taking off from July 2, the airline has finally confirmed which lounge it will be using at Sydney Airport's T1 international terminal.

As widely expected, and now confirmed to by a Virgin Australia spokesperson to Australian Business Traveller, the lounge of partner Etihad Airways will play host to Virgin's business class passengers alongside Velocity Platinum and Gold frequent flyers.

Etihad Airways' Sydney Airport lounge
Etihad Airways' Sydney Airport lounge

Etihad's combined business/first class lounge nominally opens three hours ahead of its 3.15pm and 8.55pm flights to Abu Dhabi.

However the 10am departure of Virgin Australia's flight VA83 to Hong Kong will see those passengers joining VA1 travellers headed to Los Angeles at around 9.30am, who also use this lounge and enjoy a breakfast service similar to what was done for Virgin's Melbourne-Hong Kong flights before shifting to a 12.30am departure.

Etihad Airways' Sydney Airport lounge
Etihad Airways' Sydney Airport lounge

Read more: AusBT reviews Virgin Australia business class from Melbourne to Hong Kong

So while the Etihad lounge's tended bar may not be open...

Etihad Airways' Sydney Airport lounge
Etihad Airways' Sydney Airport lounge

... travellers can expect a decent breakfast spread along with some lighter continental options in case they want to leave room for Luke Mangan's inflight business class fare.

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.

27 Aug 2015

Total posts 28

Great news. Great lounge!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 222

Nice lounge.
Speculation Alert!

..what are the chances that ALL VA international flights will use this / Etihad lounge come 28 October?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 102

Makes sense for all parties!

18 Jan 2017

Total posts 23

Yes it makes a lot of sense. Especially is if it "staffed" by Virgin. Also allows Etihad to potentially save some money / get some additional income.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 569

There have been a number of discussions about joint branding the EY Lounge as a VA Lounge also in both MEL and SYD. It makes sense from both a product and cost point of view as neither airline has enough int'l flights to really justify standalone lounges.

10 May 2018

Total posts 14

Having an EY/VA co-branded lounge makes a lot of sense and it will simplify the lounge access confusion for VA international flights out of SYD.

QF

29 Oct 2012

Total posts 19

Agreed the EY lounges are nice. Lack of barista coffee has been disappointing in the MEL lounge though.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

26 Feb 2016

Total posts 101

The EY lounge at MEL is too good for me and makes me feel uneasy. I'd prefer SQ's lounge where everything is decent and you still have your personal space to relax.

22 Dec 2017

Total posts 22

This post makes it sound as if the morning opening is new for this lounge, when in fact it is has been hosting VA1 passengers in the morning for a while.

And the bar is open and tended in the morning. It was the only place I could find a seat in the lounge before VA1. Sadly they don't serve the real Champagne until the evening (not that it's spectacular Champagne).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Apr 2018

Total posts 8

Indeed, though recently when I was here before VA1, They were limiting alcohol service to sparking and 1 type of vodka (for bloody marys).

22 Dec 2017

Total posts 22

FYI, the article has been changed to reflect the above info since I posted.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 125

I assume the lounge is large enough for a 777 and A330 load of passengers?

It seems to be around 1/2 the size of the Air NZ lounge, which always seems to be packed; but presumably that has to cater for more flights?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Apr 2018

Total posts 8

I would say it could handle it. Just guessing, but even if you assumed every J passenger on VA1/83 used the lounge, that's only 57 people. If there's say 30 gold/platinum members on each flight, that's still only 110. You may not have a choice of seating, but it would probably still be quieter than the Air NZ lounge!

22 Dec 2017

Total posts 22

It’s a small lounge and much of the seating is at dining tables, which are awkward to share with a stranger. So I think it will be tight. Plus it has Etihad’s usual strange paucity of toilets.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 125

It occurs to me that Etihad was flying A380s to Sydney with 79 premium seats.

In comparison the VA 777 and A330 have 57 premium seats combined - smaller than one of Etihad's plane loads.


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