Virgin Blue continues to step up its efforts to steal market share from Qantas' "near-monopoly" on the Australian business travel market.
The airline has commenced an intensive four-month multi-million dollar upgrade of its Brisbane domestic terminal, where it occupies space previously allocated to Ansett Australia.
"This is the first major overhaul of our facilities at Brisbane domestic terminal since we moved in more than 10 years ago" says Virgin Blue's operations chief Sean Donohue.
The refurbishment will see facilities improved on both the arrivals and departures concourse with better access to baggage collection, as well as a parents’ rooms, improved lighting and improvements to the finish within aerobridges. Work is expected to finish by March 2011.
"There are more than 15,000 guests and visitors to this terminal every day" says Donohue. "Brisbane remains one of our busiest airports with more than 145 flights each day and is a hub for regional and international connections." Virgin Blue flies to 14 domestic destinations from Brisbane including state and territory capitals and regional cities in Queensland.
Some of those flights may include new Airbus A330-200s which Virgin Blue has slated for delivery in 2012. Two are on order, priced at A$198.4m each, and will join the first pair of wide-body A330s due to begin operation in May 2011.
All four Airbus aircraft will be used on domestic long-haul routes between the eastern cost and Perth, with Virgin Blue chief executive John Borghetti citing Western Australia’s booming economy as the driving force behind this move.
Virgin Blue will also make Perth Airport the home for its domestic and international flights after a $500m upgrade is completed in 2013.