Virgin Australia B777 Fleet To Get a Makeover

24th Sep 2014

The country's second largest airline is seriously considering a major improvement program for its premium economy class on all B777 jets in its fleet.

Starting early 2016, business travelers on premium economy class of Virgin Australia will be able to enjoy a much improved features and amenities on board.

According to Virgin CEO, John Borghetti, the premium economy class will take a new concept in business travel as it will mimic the true business class in terms of service and amenities. It shall then be called 'business lite,' featuring seats whose pitch has an extra three inches extension, from 38 to 42.

As a result, the premium economy will accommodate fewer seats down to 24 from the current configuration of 40.

The airline executive said that the new premium economy will become more exclusive cabin with its fewer seats. He added that the new concept of a new premium economy will look more like business class than it is economy.

Along with the new look, the in-flight meals will also get a makeover so to speak courtesy of consulting chef Luke Mangan who is tasked to come up with a more exciting menu offering.

One amenity, however, has to go?the bar?as a result of the makeover. Mr. Borghetti admitted that the bar wasn't really necessary, though it's a good extra service.

The bar located in the business class, though, shall stay but will also sport a new look to complement the new improvement.

Moreover, the airline will introduce a whole new variant in economy class, called 'economy plus'. This zone, which will have a total of 42 seats, is basically located at the rearmost of the regular economy class seats. What makes them different from the regular economy is that they will feature more legroom and has a higher price to boot.

The improvement project will start in November 2015 and shall be ready within three months with all the five B777s get retrofitted. The resulting enhancement project will bring down the capacity of each aircraft to 339 from its current 361 seats, broken down as follows: 37 business class; 24 premium economy; and 278 regular economy.