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Major changes to Virgin’s lounges

Virgin Australia has revealed major changes to its business class lounges as it rolls out its road map for the future.

After months of speculation about what a rebooted Virgin Australia would look like, the airline’s new chief executive officer Jayne Hrdlicka has announced it would not head down the budget nor full-service routes but will instead be a “mid-market” carrier that will keep its Economy, Economy X and Business classes.

While free food in economy will be a notable omission from Virgin flights in the future, its network of lounges is finally returning after a COVID shutdown – with a few key changes.

The Cairns, Darwin and Mackay lounges will be shut down for good, joining Alice Springs, Perth T2 and Wellington, whose closures have already been announced.

A decision on the Canberra lounge is still pending.

But the lounge in Virgin Australia’s home airport in Brisbane is open again, and will soon be joined by Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth T1 and the Gold Coast.

“We’re in the Brisbane lounge right now and the energy is fantastic, we’ve had very high numbers of guests in that lounge today and you can feel the buzz right across the airport,” Ms Hrdlicka told news.com.au on Wednesday.

“It’s just really a positive sign that Virgin is beginning the journey of its next chapter.”

Ms Hrdlicka said the company was particularly excited about its new Adelaide lounge, whose April opening was delayed due to COVID-19, and will now open in early 2021 with an “experience and aesthetic more aligned to the Virgin brand”.

“It is a new look lounge for us and a prototype that will be the framework for other lounges as we go through the cycle of lounge upgrades,” Ms Hrdlicka said.

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