Virgin Australia to introduce Business Class service on 14 more regional routes next month

From 1st March 2017, 14 of Virgin Australia‘s regional routes currently operated sans Business Class seats on board their Embraer 190 or Fokker F100 aircraft, will be upgraded to their 737-800 aircraft, meaning that Business Class will be introduced on the routes for the first time.

The routes are:

Broome to Perth
Brisbane to Proserpine
Brisbane to Rockhampton
Ballina to Sydney
Coffs Harbour to Sydney
Hervey Bay to Sydney
Kalgoorlie to Melbourne
Kalgoorlie to Perth
Karratha to Perth
Launceston to Melbourne
Launceston to Sydney
Melbourne to Mildura
Perth to Port Hedland
Perth to Newman

The seats will only be available when operated by the 737-800 aircraft, and feature eight per flight. The leather seats come in a 2-2 configuration and offer generous recline, 19.5 inch width, a 38 inch seat pitch and a gourmet inflight menu designed by resident chef Luke Mangan.

The introduction of the Buisness Class seats on these routes provides additional competition to Qantas, who, in some of these routes, had been the only Business Class offering in the market. By upgrading the planes, there’s also an increased capacity – with the 737 offering 176 seats per service (including 8 business class seats), while the E90 and the F100 offer just about 100 seats. Subject to demand, this could see prices become more competitive.

We had a look at two of these routes – Broome to Perth and Ballina to Sydney, and interestingly found that the former service – which is almost two and a half hours – has yet to see many flights upgraded to the larger planes. For March at least, only Thursday flights will be using the planes. For Ballina to Sydney, however, which is about an hour, just about all these flights seem to have been upgraded. You’re looking at about $599 for that service, and $1199 for the Broome to Perth service.

Fares are now on sale through virginaustralia.com.