As Australia's second largest airline, Virgin Australia offers an extensive domestic and international route network. In 2011, the airline transitioned from a low cost carrier to a full service airline and now provides its customers with award winning lounges, increased Velocity frequent flyer benefits, complimentary in flight drinks and snacks and valet services at key airports for top tier frequent flyers. With the exception of the smallest regional aircraft, Business Class is now available on all flights. The airline's long haul international service to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi features a three class cabin which includes Business and Premium Economy.
Co-founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2000 under the name Virgin Blue, the airline changed its name to Virgin Australia in 2011 when it began its transition to a full service carrier. Today the airline has a fleet of over 100 aircraft and serves destinations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Bali and the South Pacific, and as far away as Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi. Virgin Australia's lounges, Business Class product and Velocity frequent flyer program have all been well received, earning accolades from passengers and top industry watchers alike.
Virgin Australia maintains marketing and code-share alliances with Air Berlin, Air New Zealand, Delta, Etihad, Hawaiian, Singapore, South African Airways, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic. Members of the Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer program can earn points and status credits as well as redeem benefits on each of these airlines. Members of Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer frequent flyer program and Velocity have the ability to transfer points from one program to the other.
Membership tiers in the Velocity program include Red, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Top tier members receive such benefits as free lounge entry, increased baggage allowances, priority check-in, priority boarding and many other perks.
Virgin Australia mainline:
- Boeing 777-300ER
- Airbus A330-200
- Boeing 737-800
- Boeing 737-700
- Embraer E-190
Virgin Australia Regional:
- Airbus A320
- Fokker 100/50
- ATR 72-500/600
Virgin Australia has a large order for Boeing's new state-of-the-art 737 MAX aircraft. Deliveries are to begin in 2019. And while the airline's current fleet of 777 and A330 aircraft is quite new, it is evaluating several aircraft for their eventual replacement in the new decade from 2020. Aircraft choices include the Boeing 787 model range, the Boeing 777-8 and 9, and Airbus A350.
Virgin Australia recommends that all guests be checked in for their international flight at least 90 minutes before departure. Check-in counters for long-haul international flights (Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi) open 3 hours before departure. For short-haul international flights to New Zealand, Bali (Denpasar) and South Pacific islands, check-in counters open 2.5 hours prior to departure. Valid passport and visa documentation must be presented at time of check-in. As of 2015, web check-in is not currently available for international flights.
There are a number of check-in options for Virgin Australia domestic flights. Web check-in is available up to 24 hours before departure. Guests may also check-in at the airport using a self-service kiosk or by proceeding to the check-in counter. Virgin Austrlia recommends that guests be checked in for their flight at least one hour before departure.
Premium Economy is availbable on the airline's Boeing 777. This aircraft is utilized on routes to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi. Guests will enjoy a greater level of service as well as increased personal space when compared to standard economy. Extra wide seats, greater seat recline and generous leg room are all standard comfort features of Premium Economy.
Premium Economy guests enjoy a welcome drink upon boarding. An upgraded meal service is available and includes a selection of hot mains with salad, roll and dessert. Complimentary beverages include wine, beer and mixed drinks. On flights to and from Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi, a second meal is also offered before landing.
Each seat is equipped with a personal touch-screen video monitor. Virgin Australia's RED infight entertainment system provides a wide selection of movies, TV shows, documentaries and music. There is also a power point and USB port at each seat for the use of personal electronic devices.
Virgin Australia allows Premium Economy passengers to bring 1 piece of 7kg hand luggage and 2 pieces of 32kg (each) checked baggage for long haul flights.
Lie-flat seats are featured on the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330. These pod style seats offer both privacy and openess depending on the mood of the guest. Bedding, personal storage spaces and electronic seat controls are the hallmark of Business Class comfort. The wide arm-chair style seats on the Boeing 737 and Embraer E-190 provide a roomy and comfortable experience with extra leg room for greater comfort.
Business Class passengers will enjoy a complimentary selection of restaurant quality meals. The menu is inspired by chef Luke Mangan and includes a choice of starter, main and dessert. Each course is individually plated and served seperately. A selection of premium wine, beers and spirits are also available. The Boeing 777 also features an in-flight bar where guests can help themselves to refreshements througout the flight.
Each Business Class seat comes equiped with a personal touch screen on which to enjoy Virgin Australia's award winning RED in-flight entertainment system. Guests may choose between a wide range of blockbuster movies, TV shows, music and video games. A power point and USB port are also available for the use of laptop and other electronic devices.
Virgin Australia allows Business Class passengers to bring 1 piece of 7kg hand luggage and 2 pieces of 32kg (each) checked baggage.
Club Lounges & Alliances
Virgin Australia lounges are available in 11 domestic airports and are open to Velocity Gold and Platinum members and guests flying in Business Class. The Lounge features roomy work areas with comfortable seating, complimentary food, snacks, coffees and alcohol as well as newspapers and the latest magazines. Locations include Alice Springs, Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Mackay, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Velocity Gold and Platinum members as well as Business Class guests also have access to Virgin Australia alliance partner lounges around the world. These include the lounges of Air New Zealand, Delta, Etihad and Singapore Airlines.
Virgin Australia maintains marketing and code-share alliances with Air Berlin, Air New Zealand, Delta, Etihad, Singapore, South African Airways, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic. Members of the Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer program can redeem as well as earn points and status credits on each of these airlines. Members of Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer frequent flyer program have the ability to transfer points to their Velocity account.