Virgin Australia opened its highly-anticipated, opulent 283-seat ‘Lounge of the Future’ at Adelaide Airport this week, 10 months after its planned launch date was pushed back due to Covid.
Aviation Open for Business
In its latest bid to get travellers in the air, Virgin Australia has unveiled its brand new ultra-luxurious lounge for frequent flyers at Adelaide airport (ADL). The opening of the lounge was celebrated on Tuesday with an official opening ceremony. Its design is unlike anything else in Australian airports and sets the scene for Virgin Australia’s new direction.
The grand opening of the airport lounge comes as a result of state leaders pressing the national cabinet to open domestic borders following the Australian vaccine rollout. Domestic borders have now reopened after weeks of closures in various states. Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison said it’s ‘very possible’ that Australia could reopen to other nations as more Australians become vaccinated.
Designed for the Future
The new-look Virgin Australia Adelaide Lounge was designed by Brisbane’s WMK Architecture. The ‘lounge of the future’ design is set to be rolled out across all seven of Virgin Australia’s domestic lounges. It’s the first product launched under Virgin Australia’s new ownership since it was purchased in November last year and sets a new chapter for Virgin Australia.
Taking into account the need for social distancing, the open-plan, light-filled, spacious lounge is 1,097 sqm in size and true to the Virgin Australia brand, creating an inviting environment for frequent flyers. The new, contemporary design features canopy ceilings, ambient lighting, bright greenery, a wine cellar, a library with computers and dedicated office space, as well as a sunroom.
To satisfy guests’ tastes, it has dedicated dining areas with large social tables and boutique-style banquet seating for private dining. To showcase Australian wines, it has created a space for Australia’s top wineries to offer seasonal wine tasting for guests. There’s also an end-to-end table service system where guests can order food from Virgin Australia’s enhanced menu on their phones using a QR code – An Australian airline first!
To keep guests connected, the high-tech lounge features high-definition TVs throughout and complimentary Wi-Fi. In keeping with the ultra-luxurious design, the opulent, well-lit bathrooms have showers with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and are complete with marble floors.
The global pandemic has given travel brands time to reset, rethink and in many cases reinvent and expand their offering. Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka has confirmed the new lounge is the first of many new, exciting products for customers following the airline’s relaunch. Virgin Australia’s focus is on creating great experiences for guests and investing in technology to improve the customer experience.
Ms. Hrdlicka said:
“We know our capital city lounges are highly-valued by our frequent flyers and we’re reimagining the experience in a very Virgin way. Not only is the new Adelaide Lounge the best airline lounge at Adelaide Airport, but it’s fun, relaxed, and a place that everyone will feel welcome and comfortable. We plan to make 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”.
Virgin Australia’s domestic lounges are now open in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth and Adelaide, with its seventh and final domestic lounge set to open in Canberra next month.
As a sign of things to come, airlines are heavily investing in the customer experience to tempt travellers back to the skies. For travel brands to succeed in their recovery, they must create a travel experience that projects safety, comfort and ease. It’s essential that brands maintain a human-centered mindset, rethink the business, reinvest to compete and prepare for an uncertain future. Only then will they thrive in the ‘next normal’.
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