Update | Virgin Australia has now opened its Gold Coast lounge, click here for our photo gallery and report.
Previous | Virgin Australia will continue its push to woo business travellers and frequent flyers this year with new airport lounges at Sydney and the Gold Coast, while its Perth lounge will also be expanded.
The Gold Coast lounge is slated to open “at the end of the second quarter” says Martin Daley, Virgin Australia Group Executive of Product and Guest Services.
Daley told Australian Business Traveller that the lounge will seat around 135 travellers in 675 square metres of space, making it slightly smaller than its Brisbane sibling.
While the entry will be on the ground floor of the airport the lounge itself will be located upstairs, nestled between gates 1 through 3, affording a good view of the airfield.
New “flagship lounge” for Sydney
By year’s end Virgin hopes to open the doors of its new “flagship lounge” at Sydney airport.
“That’s in the design phase now, we’ve still got a lot to work through” Daly told Australian Business Traveller. “It’s a big piece of work.”
The new lounge will share the clean, contemporary design of the slick Melbourne and Brisbane lounges created by Sydney-based architectural firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, and will be spread over two floors.
“The (current) main lounge is on the lower level, there’s another mezzanine level upstairs which the airport have been using for functions" TGZ’s Tim Greer told Australian Business Traveller earlier this year. “We’ll take over that space and have a two storey lounge.”
This unique layout could permit Virgin Australia to stage its work one floor at a time – for example, building out and then opening the upper floor, so that the current lounge on the ground floor can be renovated – rather than completely closing the lounge, as was the case at Melbourne and Brisbane airports.
“We’re looking now at how we stage that” Daley says. “There’s a fair bit to think about, (but) that’s the staging process we’re working through.”
Making more room at Perth
Also on the cards is an expansion of Virgin Australia’s Perth lounge, knocking down a wall to add an extra 100 seats to take the lounge’s total capacity to 250 travellers “ by the second quarter of 2012.”
However, the lounge won’t receive its own TGZ-styled makeover until Perth Airport opens its new Virgin Australia pier in 2014.
“When the new terminal opens in 2014 we’ll have a brand new lounge for that” Daley confirmed.