Virgin Australia has begun rolling out the first major refitting of their international 777 aircraft since the airline re-branded from V Australia in 2011.
The changes, at this stage, are exclusive to their premium cabins, with the airline rolling out their flagship Business Class product ‘The Business’ as well as a refreshed Premium Economy cabin, simply named ‘Premium’. Lucky travellers will have access to the new cabins from today on one of their Pacific bound Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts, which travel from Australia to Los Angeles, with all five of their 777-300ERs expected to be updated by the end of Q3 2016, also taking passengers onto Abu Dhabi.
As listed in the announcement today, the key features of ‘The Business’ on Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft include:
✈ 37 individual and private suites that convert into the length of a queen size bed at 80 inches;
✈ Reverse herringbone cabin layout, maximising privacy and enabling 100 per cent direct aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration;
✈ Generous side console area providing ample space to work, multitask and store personal items, with the addition of a bedside amenity nook for easy access while resting;
✈ Customised triple-layer seat cushion supported by a hammock sub-frame and a turndown service with memory foam mattress toppers and high-grade cotton pillows and doonas;
✈ The largest in-flight entertainment screen flying between Australia and North America, with an 18 inch High Definition touch screen featuring the Virgin Australia Entertainment seatback system and a stylish new intuitive user interface;
✈ Luke Mangan-designed menus paired with premium wines and delivered in a fine dining experience tailored to our guests’ needs through à la carte or Express Dining options;
✈ Three new Signature Service elements designed to enhance Virgin Australia’s award-winning service including:
- Cocktail and Canapé Service offered prior to the first meal service with a choice of Bellini, Kir Royale or Mimosa along with a Luke Mangan-designed canapé plate;
- The new Business Class Bar and Lounge will be open after the first meal service and hosted by Business Class cabin crew, offering a selection of nibbles and bites, beer, wine and spirits as well as a hot beverage selection with petit fours; and
- Continental breakfast at the bar prior to the full breakfast service, or the opportunity to enjoy a full breakfast at the bar rather than in the suite.
✈ A continuation of the world-first partnership with Nespresso to be served in ‘The Business’ and the Business Class Bar and Lounge.
Alongside the Business Class upgrade, the airline also unveiled major improvements to its Premium Economy cabin, which now features 24 seats with the most legroom of any Australian airline (19.5 inches) and has been renamed ‘Premium’.
The key features of Premium announced for Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft include:
✈ An exclusive and intimate cabin size of 24 seats with dedicated Business Class-trained crew;
✈ More legroom than any other Australian airline with an increased seat pitch of 41 inches;
✈ A roomy 19.5 inch seat width with nine inches of recline;
✈ Plated meal services inspired by Business Class, served on Business class crockery and accompanied by a selection of wines from our Business Class cellar;
✈ The introduction of Nespresso coffee and Madame Flavour Tea along with a Premium Pantry for exclusive use by our Premium guests during the flight;
✈ Two new Signature Service elements including cocktails and Movie Snack service each hour throughout the flight;
✈ 10.6 inch screen featuring the Virgin Australia setback system with a stylish new intuitive user interface;
✈ In-seat power and a USB outlet for charging personal electronic devices;
✈ Amenity packs with luxurious blankets, pillows and skincare products; and
✈ Dedicated check-in, Priority Boarding and Priority Baggage, enabling Premium guests to speed through airport formalities.
Those who fly Premium often will note, in particular, the changes to the food that you will enjoy. In the past, Premium passengers have only been offered the same meals as those in economy. Those who also fly the class often will note the reduction in size from 40 seats to 24. This has allowed the business class cabin to increase capacity by 4, as it extends its reach into area previous occupied by the 2-4-2 Premium layout.
Virgin Australia Chief Customer Officer Mark Hassell said of the changes: “We know all of our guests have differing needs which is why we have considered every touch point in Premium. From increased legroom to Business Class-trained crew, a plated meal service and a dedicated Premium Pantry, our Premium guests will be travelling in style.”
10 Economy Seats have also been lost in the changes, with the airline introducing a new economy cabin from August 30th, with the first five rows refitted and called Economy Space +. Though the new seats, which will operate in the standard 3-3-3 configuration) won’t be available until August 30th, bookings for the five upgraded rows with additional legroom and other benefits are also available from today. It will cost between AU135 and AU165 extra one way, depending on the route.
For bookings and more details head to http://virginaustralia.com/
Photos provided by the airline.