Melbourne Airport to Improve Virgin Australia's Domestic Terminal

9th Dec 2015

Virgin Australia passengers will soon enjoy a more comfortable domestic terminal at the Melbourne Airport. In addition, the international terminal could also be expanded into a part of the airport currently operated by Qantas now that the budget T4 is up and running.

Treasurer Scott Morrison, who opened T4 this Wednesday said:

"The Virgin pier improvement is the next cab off the rank for us. What we want to do is lay out a set of options for Virgin to really pick and choose from."

According to Lyell Strambi, Chief Executive at Melbourne Airport there are several options for upgrading Virgin's part of the airport, including a more dedicated area of Terminal 3 for premium guests and making more use of the new Terminal 4 for non-premium guests.

Strambi, who is the former senior executive at Qantas, said that Virgin's move into T4 opens up space elsewhere in the airport. This particularly concerns T1, which is occupied by Qantas. The Flying Kangaroo has a lease on that terminal until 2018 and could do the same it did in Sydney and Brisbane, where it sold its leases back to the airport operator.

About this, Strambi said:

"We are happy to talk to Qantas any time about an early relinquishment of the lease. We certainly have an open mind about it. It is not the highest priority we've got at this point in time."

Strambi also said that, seeing Jetstar's move to T4 opens up capacity in T1 that could be used for expanding the check-in area in T2, the airport might make changes, but not before it has control of the terminal Qantas operates currently.

However, he said it is still early to talk about these changes, but the benefits are there for all involved.

Finally, Strambi also talked about the plans to make Melbourne Airport the biggest one in Australia by accommodating two sets of parallel runways, whereas Sydney is split between Kingsford-Smith and Badgerys Creek.

"Melbourne will overtake Sydney as a single airport. Unfortunately for Sydney, they will be running it out of two airports."