Virgin Australia plans to redevelop its facilities at Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 3 over the next three years that will focus on more self-service facilities, a dedicated premium entry for eligible travellers and the relocation of some security screening facilities to improve passenger flows.
Construction work was expected to begin in 2018, with Virgin Australia and Melbourne Airport working to finalise the design process. The work was expected to be fully completed by mid-2019, Virgin Australia said on Monday.
Melbourne Tullamarine will be the latest airport where Virgin Australia offers Premium Entry, which allows travellers to go from kerbside straight into the Virgin Australia lounge via a dedicated checkin, bag drop and security screening facility. The airline currently has this available at Brisbane and Sydney airports.
Artist renderings of the concept design for the Melbourne Tullamarine upgrade released on Monday show a checkin hall featuring plenty of self-serve kiosks and automated bag drop machines similar to what Virgin Australia offers at Perth Airport Terminal 1 that was first launched in November 2015.
The airline said these automated check-in facilities would reduce the amount of time required to checkin, print boarding passes and drop off hold luggage.
“We were the first airline in Australia to introduce the kerbside Premium Entry product at Sydney Airport and we are thrilled to be able to offer this to our customers travelling through Melbourne,” Virgin Australia group executive for airlines Rob Sharp said in a statement.
“The redeveloped terminal will see Virgin Australia provide guests with a world class experience on the ground, to match the unrivalled service we provide on-board.
There will also be a change to how passengers move from checkin to the departure gate, with the security screening point at Terminal 3 to be moved in an effort to reduce congestion at the terminal. As a result, passengers will clear security before entering the Virgin Australia lounge.
A new internal ramp will also be built between Terminals 3 and 4, allowing passengers to move between the two terminals more easily.
There will also be two additional luggage belts in the Terminal 3 arrival hall.
“The unveiling of these concept designs follows the domestic terminal agreement that was signed in June between Virgin Australia and Melbourne Airport, which included key commercial terms to support the redevelopment of T3,” Virgin Australia said.
Melbourne Airport chief executive Lyell Strambi welcomed the proposed upgrades to Terminal 3.
“We are excited to continue working closely with Virgin Australia to bring this wonderful vision to life,” Strambi said.