Talking Point | It's been just two years since Virgin Australia launched its domestic business class, bringing with it a welcome and long-overdue dose of competition into what had effectively become a monopoly market for Qantas.
But transforming from the budget Virgin Blue to a 'full service' airline wasn't just a matter of ripping out the old premium economy rows for a modern business class cabin with seats and service to match.
New lounges followed, combining hip contemporary design with flyer-friendly features like Sydney's premium entry from the street through a dedicated security area and straight into the lounge.
Virgin ramped up its delivery of new aircraft, from the first Boeing 737-800 with the 'Boeing Sky Interior' cabin to Airbus A330s with international-grade seating and meals for the transcontinental service between the east and west coasts.
Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti's prediction that travellers were ready for what the renewed airline would offer appears to have been borne out.
From almost a standing start – especially in the premium arena of business and corporate travel, which was largely held to be rusted on to the Red Roo – Virgin has clawed out a sizeable chunk of the domestic market, challenging and by some estimates stepping over Qantas' cherished 'line in the sand' of a 65% share.
The uptick in Virgin's popularity seems evident everywhere we look: feedback from readers and social media, and of course increasingly crowded lounges and flights.
So today we want to hear from you, the AusBT community, on how the resurgent Virgin Australia has impacted your travel habits.
Have you, your colleagues or your company shifted your domestic business travel from Qantas to Virgin over the past two years? What has Virgin done right, what could it still do better, and what other boxes does John Borghetti need to tick?
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