Virgin Australia will wheel one of its big guns onto one of Australia's shortest but most popular routes today.
That route is Sydney-Melbourne, which is in fact fourth busiest in the world, behind domestic services in Japan and South Korea.
And the big gun? It's the Airbus A330, which Virgin Australia now numbers four in its fleet following last month's arrival of two factory-fresh A330s from Airbus HQ in Toulouse, France.
The A330 carries almost 280 passengers compared to around 180 on the Boeing 737s commonly used by Virgin and Qantas (and which remains the domestic workhorse of both airlines).
Virgin Australia's morning A330 shuttle will depart Melbourne at 7.15am and arrive into Sydney at 8.40am. The return service leaves depart Sydney at 10am to reach Melbourne at 11.35am.
There's an even-money chance you'll be travelling on one of the new A330s which has vastly improved business class seats – not that it's a deal-breaker on such a short flight!
Unlike the first two A330s, which have recliners and a 2-3-2 layout (shown above) – which will see travellers on the busiest flights squeezed into the middle seat – Virgin’s new A330s sport angled lie-flat beds in a 2-2-2 layout (below).
There’s also an all-new inflight entertainment system from tip to tail and USB ports for topping up your smartphone’s battery before you land.
The A330’s primary purpose, however, is to bulk up Virgin’s transcontinental Coast to Coast service, with this week’s debut of double daily Melbourne-Perth A330 flights to match the Sydney-Perth service launched last year.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.