BRONX | NEW YORK | WED, September 24 | by O’Keeve Foster (SMWA)
A week after Qantas unveiled their new business class product, Virgin Australia has followed in their footsteps and unveiled their new Business Class Suites set to be used on their flagship Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircrafts.
The new suites will be using Super Diamond seats, these are the same seats used by Air Canada for their Business Class, however they are customized for Virgin Australia aircrafts. Therefore this design is unique to Virgin Austraila Boeing 777 and Airbus A330.
Virgin Australia Business Class seating layout will be configured in a 1-2-1 arrangements on both the Boeing 777 and A330, giving each traveler easy access to the aisle, for the very first time.
Virgin’s Super Diamond Business Class Seats are manufactured by B/E Aerospace and design by Tangerine London and can be converted into a 180 degrees fully-flat bed with a 80inch width. However on the Airbus A330 Business Class, seating count will go from 24 seats to 20, providing a more spacious cabin for Business Class travelers.
Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti spoke on the airline new products and its Virgin Vision 2017 Concept. Mr Borghetti Said:
“Today marks a new era for our premium customer experience both domestically and internationally. We believe the sophisticated new suites will set a new standard in Business Class travel, not just in Australia but around the world”, “Our Virgin Vision to 2017 is to become Australia’s favourite airline group and today’s announcement is central to our strategy as it will see Virgin Australia deliver the best premium travel experience in Australia.” “We are committed to maintaining a competitive advantage in customer experience in order to ensure that Virgin Australia is the number one choice for premium travellers”, Mr Borghetti added.
For entertainment, Virgin Australia will be installing Panasonic EX2 In-Flight Entertainment System connect to a 16in touchscreen for Business Class only. Virgin Australia will also use Lufthansa BoardConnect WiFi Entertainment System to allow passengers in all class to be connected to the World Wide Web, and stream media to their mobile devices. Another great improvement made to Business Class is, Virgin has redesigned the Business Class bar, however removed the Premium Economy Bar, that’s won’t bum out Premium Economy Travelers.
With the removal of the Premium Economy Bar, Virgin Premium Economy travelers will love to flying on the flagship Boeing 777, because Virgin has increased premium economy seating pitch to 41 inches. However that means less seats in Premium Economy, seats will be reduced from 40 to only 24 seats, adding more legroom for travelers and providing a more comfortable quite ride for travelers traveling in Premium Economy.
Why the Premuim Economy Bar won’t be miss by travelers? Because the Business Class bar is so much more improved and Premuim Economy travelers has access to it. So not only bigger and less seats but also an awesome new bar. With the reduction of seats in Premium Economy, the Boeing 777 will now hold 339 travelers comfortable, that’s down from 361. Making the aircraft feel more premuim and adds exclusive to Premuim Economy travelers. The reduction also add range to the aircraft.
Virgin Austraila Chief Executive John Borghetti spoke about their Premium Economy
“Our intention here with premium economy is not to have it as an ‘economy plus’ product, but as a ‘business-lite’ product,” Borghetti also adds. “We’re trying to pitch the business class seat as a halfway house between Business and First, and premium economy as more of a halfway house between economy and business, but closer to business. Certainly all our research shows that will set us ahead of everyone else.”
The suites will roll out to Virgin Australia’s Airbus A330 fleet in early 2015 with the first aircraft expected to be in service by March and the complete refit of the fleet to be finalised by August.
The roll out of the new Business Class product to the Boeing 777 fleet will commence from November 2015 and be complete by early 2016.
Today, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia also announced a partnership between the two airlines calling it a “world first for frequent flyers” the partnership is allowing members of KrisFlyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer to convert their Miles and Points between both programmes for the first time and receive a number of “innovative” new benefits.
Experiance Virgin Australia New Business Class Suites in PHOTOS