Virgin Australia will start flights with business class to the Gold Coast towards the end of this year, with a snazzy new airport lounge set to follow.
The move makes Virgin the only airline to offer domestic business class services to the Gold Coast, although the availability of business class seats will depend on how quickly the airline can upgrade the aircraft which run this route.
Currently it has five business class-equipped Boeing 737-800 in operation. The airline plans to have business class seats across the majority of its fleet by year's end. Busines class fares to the Gold Coast will go on sale between October and December this year.
Australian Business Traveller toured Virgin’s impressive new 737 business class product in May – see the full photo gallery here.
There’s no question that the inflight product is superior to any other airline flying domestically in Australia, with spacious leather seats, an inflight amenity kit and a menu designed by Luke Mangan.
Coming in 2012: Virgin Australia’s Gold Coast lounge
Virgin Australia carries almost one million passengers through the Gold Coast each year, says Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti, which means the newly-built Gold Coast lounge will be a welcome addition for business travellers and frequent flyers.
The lounge will be designed along the same modern lines as the airline's new Melbourne and Brisbane lounges: for a preview of what's to come, check our extensive photo galleries of the Melbourne and Brisbane lounges.
At 680 square metres the Gold Coast lounge will be almost as large as its Brisbane sibling, with seating for up to 140 guests. As with all Virgin lounges, on offer will be 'Luke Mangan-designed' meals, snacks and refreshments; premium wine, beer and an around-the-clock barista service; free WiFi; plus HD TV sets with free-to-air and Foxtel TV.
But if Virgin wants to be a hit with the Gold Coast's business travellers the airline will need to work harder on its breakfast menu, as the results of our 'business lounge breakfast battle' between the Qantas Business Lounge and Virgin Australia revealed.
Dan is a tech enthusiast who frequently qualifies for enhanced airport security screening due to the number of cords and gadgets stuffed into his cabin bag.