Virgin Australia will become a ‘mid-market’ airline complete with three levels of cabin seating under a plan presented by the airline’s new CEO.
Just one day after the sale of the airline to US investment firm Bain Capital was completed, incoming CEO Jayne Hrdlicka took the sheets off what Virgin’s new strategy will be.
Under the proposed direction, Virgin Australia will offer three seating options, including Business Class, Economy X and Economy seats, making it the only airline in the country to do so.
There will be no changes to the Velocity Frequent Flyer program and salons will begin reopening nationwide today.
Virgin will aim to be a “mid-market” airline and will aim for a domestic market share of about one-third.
The move is anticipated to place Virgin at the midpoint between a premium offering from Qantas and a budget offering from Jetstar.
Ms. Hrdlicka said the management process has renewed Virgin’s vision for the future.
“Virgin Australia is an airline built on a 20-year history of exceptional customer service and a great experience for millions of Australians,” said Ms Hrdlicka.
“Today we come out of voluntary administration with a renewed sense of who we are and who we are here to serve.”
She briefly alluded to main rival Qantas, saying that Virgin will, first and foremost, offer its traditional experience to customers who prefer it to the flying kangaroo.
“Australia already has a low-cost carrier and a traditional full-service carrier, and we won’t have either,” said Ms Hrdlicka.
“Virgin Australia will be an attractive mid-market airline for customers looking for great value airfare and better service.
“We will continue to evolve our offering to our customers based on data and feedback, but the Virgin Australia experience that millions of travelers know and love is here to stay.”
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Virgin will operate lounges at six domestic airports, including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast.
New technology, such as a mobile app, will help travelers “personalize” their travel experience, while “hybrid” check-in facilities will allow customers to skip the lines and travel safely with COVID.
Despite a restructuring, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines will continue to operate from its base in Western Australia.