Photo gallery: Virgin Australia's new A330 business class seats

Photo gallery: Virgin Australia's new A330 business class seats

Virgin Australia's all-new Airbus A330 business class takes to the skies today, and we've got the first photos of the seats and cabin.

The pointy end of the upgraded Airbus A330s features 20 business class seats, four down from the previous count, due to Virgin's move from a 2-2-2 layout to a more passenger-friendly 1-2-1 configuration in which each traveller has direct access to the aisle.

The seats are made from a stylish carbon fibre shell, which has drawn inspiration from premium automotive interiors. It's been designed by Tangerine London, Virgin Australia Creative Director Hans Hulsbosch, and manufactured by B/E Aerospace. 

The seats are angled towards the window and have ample personal space in terms of both shelving and stowage nooks.

The side table is large enough to fit a magazine and a drink. 

Underneath that table is where you access the power and USB ports. You can leave your devices to charge even during take off. 

And there's plenty of space to work on the dining table.  

Next to you is a clever little storage area for the headphone case. 

At the seat, you're provided with a stylish pillow and blanket combo. 

For overnight flights such as the notorious red-eye services from Perth to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, the seat converts into a fully flat bed that's topped with a memory foam mattress and high-grade cotton pillows and doonas.

The seat's wrap-around shell adds privacy and makes it a little more of a 'suite'.

The middle pairs of seats are angled towards one another, with a perspex privacy screen which slides back so you can chat with your seatmate.

The high definition 16" display features Virgin's new user interface. 

And interesting new features like group chat. 

A second display on the side of the seat allows you to change your position without interrupting the entertainment. 

The new meals are available available at any time during the flight, as well as an 'express dining' service for when work (or sleep) trumps meals.

Here's one Virgin Australia's head chef Luke Mangan prepared earlier. 

There's also a new Nespresso coffee service, using the world's first custom-designed Nespresso machine to be fitted to an Airbus A330, which Virgin promises will "deliver the finest coffee in the sky."

Read more: Virgin Australia launches new A330 business class seats & service

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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.
 

39 comments

  • AwaywithMike

    AwaywithMike

    17 Aug, 2015 11:06 am

    Can't wait to fly on it to Fiji on 17 October and back on 24th!

    Virgin you rock!

    :-p

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  • Hugo

    Hugo

    17 Aug, 2015 11:30 am

    Does the A330 fly to Fiji? 

    Does someone have a list of A330 routes? I'd love to find an excuse to burn some miles trying this out.

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  • nix584

    nix584

    17 Aug, 2015 12:29 pm

    SYD-NAN-SYD on Saturdays.

    SYD/MEL/BNE-PER vv daily (with multiple frequencies).

    Possibly/hopefully Triangle Route in the future.

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  • Gian

    Gian

    17 Aug, 2015 11:07 am

    Ohhhhh yes! I hope the "new J seat lottery gods" are kind to me for my transcon travel for the remainder of the year! Can't wait to try this! 

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  • Steve Dyer

    chevie82

    17 Aug, 2015 11:22 am

    Which Aircraft is this?

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  • Gian

    Gian

    17 Aug, 2015 11:24 am

    A330 as it says in the first sentence of the article. 

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  • Matthew Walsh

    mattwalshmedia

    17 Aug, 2015 11:27 am

    I think Steve meant which registration.

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  • Gian

    Gian

    17 Aug, 2015 11:29 am

    VH-XFH

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  • Steve Dyer

    chevie82

    17 Aug, 2015 02:35 pm

    Thanks

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  • Steve Dyer

    chevie82

    17 Aug, 2015 02:35 pm

    Sorry, I will be sure to be more specific in the next comment

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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    17 Aug, 2015 11:30 am

    IMO this is easily one of the world's sexiest airline cabins, and VERY "my taste."

    And now they've got dine on demand service? Awesome. VA really knows how to impress. I think they've been very successful at positioning this product as "Diet First Class."

    When the 777s get refurbed, this will easily be the best trans-Pacific choice. Qantas will really need to get those A380s refreshed with the Business Suite and those Dreamliners into the fleet ASAP.

    Good work, Virgin!

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  • Fonga

    Fonga

    17 Aug, 2015 12:00 pm

    It looks stylish and brilliant. Hope we can get a full service review ASAP David.

    With this reveal, Australia can claim to have the best domestic airlines in the world.

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  • nix584

    nix584

    17 Aug, 2015 12:26 pm

    WOW! Just WOW! Looks absolutely incredible and much more appealing than the new QF Suites.

    Though not too sure about the clear divider... Though that's easy fixed, choose a window seat!

    Well done VA!

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  • clarkysdonga

    clarkysdonga

    18 Aug, 2015 09:12 am

    Serious? with that boring scheme? Ive flown the QF suites and they are beautiful, like any luxury car leather interior.

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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    17 Aug, 2015 12:53 pm

    15 years ago, this was basically the standard of First Class on a Qantas 744.  That it is now offered as a Business Class product on a domestic service is amazing.

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  • Rkwm

    Rkwm

    17 Aug, 2015 02:14 pm

    If only VA would take up the SYD HKG route with this Business class,I can just wish.

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  • AwaywithMike

    AwaywithMike

    17 Aug, 2015 03:01 pm

    yes please! we all know it has to be SYD-HKG-SYD the next to be announced, but when will they announce/start it... so we can ALL get to HKG!?

     

    JB earlier advised they were launching 2-3 new international routes. Was Fiji one of those???

    The next 2 being HKG and?

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  • Bizflyer

    Bizflyer

    18 Aug, 2015 07:13 am

    One could only hope for London 

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  • Rkwm

    Rkwm

    18 Aug, 2015 11:12 am

    My thoughts exactly... Virgin Australia to HKG connecting to Virgin Atlantic onto LHR and then even....onto JFK or LAX connecting again to Virgin Australia from LAX to SYD. Perfect!

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  • Alex_upgrade

    alex_upgrade77

    18 Aug, 2015 03:55 pm

    David and Chris will no dount update us when any announcement are made.

    London isn't probably viable given that this market is already crowded and Etihad and Singapore Airlines have covered those bases for VA. 

    HKG could be possible although they'd be competing with Cathay's frequency. There was a reason Virgin Atlantic could never make that route work.

    They would also want a port where they could get plenty of codeshare traffic to help fill seats. Am thinking Singapore? They could do 1 flight a day ex BNE or MEL which codes with SQ. Both airlines now have Premium Economy products and they could attack Qantas head on given they've held back on PE on the A330s. Time it so it links with SQ connections to Europe.

    K/Lumpur is a small market but with MH reducing capacity, could be an opportunity. Still, it's mainly leisure traffic and VA would be looking for a market that is able to give them a good ROI on their new products where they can charge top $$.

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  • AwaywithMike

    AwaywithMike

    19 Aug, 2015 12:12 am

    CX frequency, is not alighned to NZ, VA, VS, SQ in alliance terms...

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  • afloskar

    afloskar

    17 Aug, 2015 02:26 pm

    It looks amazing

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  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    17 Aug, 2015 04:06 pm

    This has surely got to be the best domestic business cabin in the sky, very closely followed by Qantas.  Heck, I'd be very happy with it on an Ultra Long Haul Flight....

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  • Fqtv

    Zac

    17 Aug, 2015 04:27 pm

    This looks absolutely fabulous -  well done to Virgin, can't wait to try it out. And to think this is a domestic business product - wow. Also helps reinforce the decision to go with Virgin as my primary carrier + FF program.

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  • henrus

    henrus

    17 Aug, 2015 05:04 pm

    Expect to see some more photos soon as the flight lands in about 40 minutes into perth!

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  • AwaywithMike

    AwaywithMike

    17 Aug, 2015 05:08 pm

    #onboardwifisoon?

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  • henrus

    henrus

    18 Aug, 2015 09:36 pm

    Yeh VA said it may soon happen #thanksNBNsat

    Thats was back in 2014 so who knows what's happened since then

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  • TECHNO

    TECHNO

    17 Aug, 2015 06:58 pm

    Just came off this flight an hour ago. All I can say is it is AMAZING and trumps Qantas by a long shot in my opinion.

     

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  • Fonga

    Fonga

    18 Aug, 2015 11:49 am

    Lots of commentary comparing the new Qantas and Virgin suites, but I'm not sure all are based on direct experience of both. I'll wait for David and Chris to provide an expert eye on the two offerings. They both look terrific. I suspect the sliding panel between the the two centre seats though might just give Virgin the edge at this early stage. It's all in the usage though. Fun to to see Borghetti and Joyce glamming it up with the carefully selected FAs for the promo shots, and it's another thing for real customers to try the product on a longer flight. This is like UFC in the skies.

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  • Richrd OBrien

    richardco22

    22 Aug, 2015 02:51 am

    Having flown both , there's really no comparison.

    David omitted to mention the FRENCH champagne available before take off, and the exeptionl choice of wines on Virgin east coast to Perth.

    I'm a QF platinum rather disgruntled by the (often) lazy service on business class (which can be appalling -especially internationally) who's been VERY impressed by the Virgin sevice and its partner SQ for international legs.  And it's cheaper - a "no brainer" as the Americans would say.

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  • clarkysdonga

    clarkysdonga

    18 Aug, 2015 09:11 am

    Wooh, pretty average, no where near as nice as the Qantas suites. Whats with the grey and black 'colour' scheme? Also kinda looks like a rip off of the QF product too, but i suppose thats the only way to do the 1,2,1 config.

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  • henrus

    henrus

    18 Aug, 2015 09:39 pm

    I thought VA announced their's first

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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    19 Aug, 2015 09:15 am

    I'm puzzled how you would think an angled seat set-up featuring brushed chrome and carbon fibre can be construed as a rip-off of a straight seating set-up featuring a timber look.

    They are both very good products and neither are truly original as they are developments of off-the-shelf J class seats but they are both very different which is good.

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  • clarkysdonga

    clarkysdonga

    18 Aug, 2015 09:16 am

    Also nice to see the coffee pod waste generated through the use of pods. Wonder how many wasted pods there will be a year. 

    Anyone else think the colour scheme looks like a government detention centre?

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  • henrus

    henrus

    18 Aug, 2015 09:43 pm

    If you don't want waste a few pods then don't fly Virgin or don't get the coffee!

    Type into google "nespresso pods recycling" and you will find the nespresso acutally recycle the pods after use and I would imagine that Virgin may do the same of Domestic flights.

    It would not be allowed on international flight due to waste restrictions though.

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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    19 Aug, 2015 09:11 am

    No, can't say I've seen many setention centres built from leather, brushed chrome and carbon fibre but I guess anything's possible.

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  • GLAaussie

    GLAaussie

    18 Aug, 2015 08:37 pm

    It looks quite similar to QR's J on 787/A350/A380s. Having yesterday flown ARN-DOH in J on a QR 787, if VA's seat is indeed like QRs then I think that they are on to an absolute winner with it.

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  • Arcanum

    Arcanum

    19 Aug, 2015 07:55 am

    I'm curious to hear how much room there is in the footwell.  I just flew Air Canada's version of this seat and found it quite tight in the feet because of the tray table tucked under the monitor.  It looks like Virgin has gone for the same setup.  As I recall, on Cathay the table comes from beside the seat, so the footwell was more spacious.

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  • Martin Shearwood

    Creative Marty

    26 Aug, 2015 05:43 am

    Looks great. And good to see another Monocle fan too!

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21 May, 2019 09:31 pm

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