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Virgin’s MEL-LAX service takes on Qantas

April 11, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Virgin Australia has launched flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles, departing Melbourne five days a week and using B777-300ERs equipped with ‘The Business’ – the airline’s new business class, in direct competition with Qantas.

Virgin will offer less capacity overall on the route than Qantas (which uses A380s) but rivalry will be keen, which always benefits the travelling public and often benefits the travel industry. Qantas plans to put B787-9 Dreamliners on the route later this year.

Virgin Australia is very proud of its new business class product and is keen to show it off.

At the launch of the new Virgin Australia service last week, the airline’s group executive, John Thomas, said Los Angeles and North America was an important market for Virgin Australia “and through our partnership with Delta Air Lines, we offer passengers 25 return flights per week across the Pacific and remain the only trans-Pacific alliance to offer Business Class guests lie-flat beds with direct aisle access on all services.

“Delta will also codeshare on our Melbourne services, and passengers can earn Velocity Points and Status Credits, have their baggage checked through and enjoy reciprocal frequent flyer benefits on the ground.”

Key features of ‘The Business’ on Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, as listed by Virgin last week:

  • 37 individual and private suites that convert into the length of a queen size bed at 80 inches;
  • Reverse herringbone cabin layout, maximising privacy and enabling 100 per cent direct aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration;
  • Generous side console area providing ample space to work, multitask and store personal items, with the addition of a bedside amenity nook for easy access while resting;
  • Customised triple-layer seat cushion supported by a hammock sub-frame and a turndown service with memory foam mattress toppers and high-grade cotton pillows and doonas;
  • The largest in-flight entertainment screen flying between Australia and North America, with an 18-inch High Definition touch screen;
  • Dedicated Business Class Bar which caters for up to 10 people and features a premium beverage offering, accompanied by a tapas menu;
  • Luke Mangan-designed menus paired with premium wines and delivered in a fine dining experience tailored to our guests’ needs through à la carte or Express Dining options;
  • Signature Service elements designed to enhance Virgin Australia’s award-winning service, including a Cocktail and Canapé Service with a choice of Bellini, Kir Royale or Mimosa along with a Luke Mangan-designed canapé plate;
  • Virgin Australia’s world-first partnership with Nespresso to be served in ‘The Business’ and at the Business Class Bar.

Virgin Australia’s Premium cabin is available on the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and features:

  • More legroom than any other Australian airline with a seat pitch of 41 inches;
  • An exclusive and intimate cabin size of 24 seats with dedicated Business Class-trained crew;
  • A roomy 19.5 inch seat width with nine inches of recline;
  • Plated meal services inspired by Business Class, served on Business class crockery and accompanied by a selection of wines from Virgin Australia’s Business Class cellar; and
  • Nespresso coffee and Madame Flavour Tea along with a Premium Pantry for exclusive use by Premium guests during the flight.

 Virgin Australia Melbourne to Los Angeles Schedule

Flight Number Route Departs/Arrives Days of the week
VA23 MEL-LAX 1130/0900 Mon, Tu, Thu, Sat, Sun
VA24 LAX-MEL 2055/0545 Tu, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun

Edited by Peter Needham

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