Virgin Australia to Take off to China and Hong Kong in 2017

22nd Jul 2016

2017 will apparently be a very good year for customers of Virgin Australia. Not only has the Australian airline announced that it will offer Wi-Fi on both its domestic and international flights by the mid-2017, but its officials have now also revealed plans for some new and exciting destinations.

Namely, as Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti has confirmed, the carrier will expand its network by adding China and Hong Kong by the end of 2017.

Before that can happen, however, Virgin Australia must get its application approved by the International Air Services Commission. The carrier has already applied for rights to fly the new destinations in Australia and got them.

If and when VA receives a green light for its application, it would be able to add nearly 2,000 seats to China per week and fly seven times per week to HK.

Currently, Virgin Australia's CEO Borghetti is to have talks with one of the airline's Chinese investors Nanshan Group regarding a possible strategic alliance. Together, the Chinese investors, Nanshan Group and HNA, hold nearly 40 per cent of Virgin Australia's stake.

Virgin Australia to Introduce Wi-Fi by Mid-2017

As mentioned previously, Virgin Australia will also install on board Internet on its aircraft. According to CEO Borghetti, Wi-Fi equipment will be installed on Virgin Australia's Boeing 737-800s and Boeing 777-300ERs, as well as Airbus A330 planes from mid-2017.

The Australian carrier will offer Wi-Fi to both its passengers on domestic and on international flights.

Virgin Does Away With the Middle Seat in Business Class

Finally, the Australian carrier has also done away with the dreaded middle seat in its Business Class and has changed the layout from 2-3-2 to 2-1-2. This gives all passengers in this class access to the aisle.

Borghetti said the following about this change:

"We won't have anybody climbing over our customers or falling on top of them trying to get out of their seat."

Virgin Australia's CEO also pointed out that the airline has the widest Business Class seat in the lie-flat mode on US routes, 28 inches. The next carrier has 25-inch wide seats. In addition, Virgin Australia's Business Class passengers can also enjoy 18-inches screens while