As the Victoria-New South Wales border re-opened for travellers, Virgin Australia unveiled its refurbished Melbourne lounge and a new lounge menu to welcome travellers back.
The airline’s Melbourne lounge, which was closed in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, has taken on a more “contemporary and relaxed” look, sticking to the airline’s signature “flair”, with fun new signage, brand new bathrooms and shower facilities, ambient lighting, bright greenery and a selection of modern and refreshed furniture.
Seating 500 guests in line with COVID-19 capacity requirements, the lounge is the largest of Virgin’s network of 10 lounges.
The airline has thought long and hard about the layout of the lounge with spaces to relax and unwind, enjoy a delicious meal, connect with others or work on the fly. Signature features of the lounge will also return, including a coffee and wine bar offering a range of beverages, including barista-made coffee, and Australian wines, craft beers and ciders.
Virgin Australia Group’s chief customer and digital officer, Paul Jones, said capital city lounges are a big part of the airline’s guest offering.
“We thank our loyal customers who have waited patiently for many months to see this incredible lounge reopen in time for interstate travel to resume for Victorian and New South Wales residents,” he said.
“As part of our commitment to investing in great experiences for our guests, it was important that we elevated the standard of the Melbourne lounge, which first opened over eight years ago, in line with our new and fresh lounge design thinking.
“Since the government announced the easing of state border restrictions, we have seen a surge in bookings for the holiday season, which is great news and demonstrates the pent-up demand we’ll experience from now and throughout the summer holiday period.
“Our plan is to continue to invest and evolve Virgin Australia’s fantastic lounge spaces as part of our focus on creating great guest experiences. This is at the core of the Virgin Australia customer offering, and the reason why our loyal frequent flyers continue to travel with us.”
To coincide with the reopening of the Melbourne lounge, Virgin has unveiled a range of exciting new dishes across the airline’s domestic lounge network as part of its ongoing program to enhance the guest experience and appeal to its heartland customer.
Dishes will be available from a range of menus that will rotate monthly, providing variety and choice alongside a selection of freshly prepared sandwiches, salads, wraps and healthy snacks.
Highlights of the new menu include sourdough toast topped with avocado fetta served with chilli flakes and a lemon wedge, karaage chicken served with slaw and mayonnaise, black rice, beetroot with walnut and fetta salad and scones topped with fresh cream and Jam Gelato cups.
The airline’s main competitor, Qantas, also refreshed its food offering across its international flights and lounges with a view to make plant-based options available across all cabins on overseas flights from mid-November.
The Melbourne lounge re-opening completes Virgin’s national lounge network, with the airline’s other lounges in Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth. The airline has also committed to re-opening its premium lounges (formerly The Club) in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane by 31 March 2022.