17 May 2016 | Customer

Virgin Australia revolutionises travel across the Pacific

'The Business' cabin

Virgin Australia today unveiled its new International Business Class cabin, with the first of its refitted Boeing 777-300ER aircraft now flying across the Pacific. The airline’s flagship Business Class product ‘The Business’, new Business Class Bar and Lounge, and refreshed Premium cabin will transform the customer experience on long haul flights from Australia to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi.

Key features of ‘The Business’ on Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft:

✈ 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:
o 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;  
o 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
o 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.

Virgin Australia Group CEO John Borghetti said: “Virgin Australia is committed to product innovation and delivering a superior customer journey on the ground and in the air.

“With competition increasing from Australia to North America and the Middle East, we believe this will be the best Business Class on the Pacific, with the product also being introduced to Abu Dhabi later this year.

“We have seen customer satisfaction scores increasing to all-time highs after introducing ‘The Business’ domestically on transcontinental routes so we are confident that, with our new Boeing 777 Business Class cabin and refreshed Premium cabin, Virgin Australia will be the number one choice for premium travellers,” Mr Borghetti said.

The airline also unveiled major improvements to its Premium Economy cabin, which now features 24 seats with more legroom than any other Australian airline and has been renamed ‘Premium’.

Key features of Premium on Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft:

✈ 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.

Virgin Australia Chief Customer Officer Mark Hassell said: “We have completely overhauled the Premium cabin experience to create a new travelling environment with business class style and flair.

“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.

“Premium guests will be welcomed on board with a cocktail and offered movie snacks, such as dumplings, ice cream and chocolate, throughout the flight.

“Premium is an important product for us and we are committed to ensuring those higher yielding customers receive value for money,” Mr Hassell said.

Virgin Australia also announced Economy Space +, which is a new spacious section of the Boeing 777 main cabin. The first five rows and the exit rows of economy feature extra legroom as well as a range of other features.

All five of the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are expected to be refitted by the third quarter of 2016.