Virgin Plans an Airbus A330 Upgrade for the Sydney to Perth

14th Mar 2013

Air travelers on the Sydney-Perth route will have something to look forward to later this year as Virgin Australia plans to deploy a bigger capacity aircraft, the Airbus A330, on the said sector.

The airline is already using an all-A330 fleet for its Melbourne-Perth service and starting by middle of May, it will also offer a twice-daily service between Brisbane and Perth using A330.

A spokesman from Virgin Australia disclosed to the Australian Business Traveller that they will take delivery later this year another A330 aircraft which they will use on sectors where necessary or where demand is high.

Business travelers between Brisbane and Perth will also get to enjoy the airline's latest offering in its business class aboard new A330 planes with the introduction of lie-flat seats and the older model's recliner seats. The former has a configuration of 2-2-2 layout while the latter has a 2-3-2 layout.

Virgin will have 8 A330 planes in its fleet by June 2015 during which the airline will start placing order of more planes, either the A350s or the Boeing 787s for its transcontinental as well as international service.

Bigger planes, more seats, lower prices...?

Both Virgin and Qantas will start using the A330 aircraft for their domestic service owing to the plane's bigger capacity than the Boeing 737-800, which is still in service in some of their domestic routes.

By middle of May this year, Qantas shall replace the Boeing 737s with the A330 planes on weekday flights on the Sydney-Perth and Melbourne-Perth routes. The B737, though, will remain ply the routes on weekends.

The deployment of bigger planes in their coast-to-coast service will mean an increase in the number of seats available to travelers putting pressure on prices as they try to capture a bigger market share in the country's transcontinental sector.

Virgin Australia's John Borghetti remarked that the 95% growth in capacity was attributed to Perth via transcontinental service.

Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO, on the other hand, made an announcement early this year that the airline's fleet of A330 will sport the stylish lie-flat seats in its business class. However, the airline will not use the Marc Newson Skybeds which is a common business class feature in its A380 and B747 planes.