Virgin Australia has started selling business class seats on most of its domestic flights as it expands its service and seeks to capitalise on the turmoil engulfing Qantas.
The airline says business class travel will be available from 18 January. The airline last week began selling business class tickets for flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
A business class ticket on a mid-week flight between Melbourne and Sydney in late January costs $559 one-way, according to a search of the company’s online booking system. An economy class Saver fare for the same flight runs $79. Business class tickets start at $359 for flights between Brisbane and Newcastle.
Virgin’s business class features leather seats, Luke Mangan designed menus, a “premium” selection of wines, beers and spirits and access to the airline’s lounges and priority check-in and boarding, the company says.
Virgin says it will also begin offering complimentary tea, coffee and water to economy class passengers from January 18, as well as free wine and beer on weekday flights between 4pm and 7pm.
The airline has moved aggressively since Qantas briefly grounded its fleet late last month, adding flights and offering discounted fares to stranded Qantas customers. Analysts say Virgin is well placed to advantage of any lasting damage suffered by Qantas as a result of its ongoing dispute with unions.