Virgin Australia has unveiled its so-called ‘lounge of the future’ in Adelaide, which opens today.
The contemporary design features a breeze block feature wall, canopy ceilings, large light-filled spaces and sustainable furniture.
The airline says the 1,097-square-metre space, which can hold up to 283 guests, is a “relaxed, inviting and uncomplicated place” that is “delightfully Virgin”.
Russell Grady, director of architects WMK, said, “In true Virgin Australia style, we’ve really elevated the playful elements in signage, furniture and vibrant lighting features, adding pops of colour and energising moments, to enrich the lounge’s natural material palette.
“The Lounge will provide travellers with an inspiring experience, conveying a sense of informality and ease; a place to pass time in true comfort and ease.”
Virgin chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said, “We plan to make a significant investment in our lounges over the next few years. The new lounge we’ve unveiled today will be the foundation for the Virgin aesthetic and experience we will roll out across the network.”
The room also features an “eye-catching central café seating area” that can transform into a wine bar at night; a feature space for South Australian wineries to provide tastings; and “banquette seating” for private dining.
Virgin’s lounges in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth are open, with a seventh in Canberra to open in March.
“In an Australian airline first, Virgin Australia is also trialling a food ordering system, offering guests end-to-end table service,” said the business in a statement. “Initially available in the Adelaide and Melbourne lounges, guests will be able to order food and beverages directly to their lounge seat or table, by simply scanning a QR code and placing an order on their phone.”
The investment will be seen as a reaffirmation that Virgin will continue with its plan to become a mid-market, and not budget, carrier.
“Australia already has a low-cost carrier and a traditional full-service airline, and we won’t be either,” said Hrdlicka on her first day. “Virgin Australia will be a mid-market carrier appealing to customers who are after a great value airfare and better service.”
“Today, we’ve announced a plan that will ultimately give our customers what they value without the big price tag: premium lounges, a new and fresh retail offering onboard, a choice of cabins, better digital technology and a more streamlined check-in experience.”