The aviation landscape in Australia may have shifted quite dramatically over the past few months, with new regional entrant Rex looking to take on Qantas on the main Melbourne – Sydney shuttle route and Virgin Australia re-emerging as a mid market carrier, and there’s even talk that Qantas isn’t taking project Sunrise off the table just yet. But most eyes have been turning to Virgin Australia to see how they will emerge as a new carrier, and their latest lounge might give us a few key hints.
Designed by Brisbane’s WMK Architecture, the 283-seat Adelaide Lounge completes Virgin Australia’s network of seven domestic lounges across major airports around Australia. However, the airline has announced that all future Lounge refurbishments around the domestic network will “be done in line with this new and fresh design thinking.”
The lounge has a less branded and polished design aesthetic in comparison to the airlines’ previous spaces, reflecting the new Virgin Australia brand, creating a warm, authentic and inviting environment for frequent flyers.
In an almost artisanal approach, the uncomplicated design includes a breeze block feature wall upon entry, with canopy ceilings, before ceramic tiling leads guests into a large light-filled space, with the centre walkway leading guests to numerous dining and seating areas. Ambient lighting, bright greenery and Australian sustainable furniture completes the Lounge.
Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the new lounge was the first of many new and exciting products for customers following the airline’s re-launch.
“We are continuing to write a new chapter at Virgin Australia and we’re incredibly focussed on creating great experiences for our guests,” said Ms Hrdlicka. “We plan to make significant investment in our lounges over the next few years. The new lounge we’ve unveiled today will be the foundation for the Virgin aesthetic and experience we will roll out across the network.
Naturally there’s plenty of relaxation space, separated in to a variety of zones including a Sun Room, a ‘Library’ work area, a ‘Gallery Lounge’ complete with TV and a ‘Long Stay’ relaxation area.
The lounge also features two Aussie lounge staples, a Coffee Bar and ‘The Cellar Door Hub’ featuring a selection of tipples from Australia’s most awarded wineries. There’s also a mixed use dining area featuring tables for two through to large communal tables.
To coincide with the opening, Virgin Australia has today launched a new and fresh menu for guests, featuring a selection of sandwiches, salads, wraps and healthy snacks, prepared on site utilising a new passenger food ordering system. An enhanced menu will be implemented at all lounges across the airline’s network in the coming weeks.
WMK Architecture Director Russell Grady said the design of the Lounge is unlike anything else in Australian airports, setting the scene for Virgin Australia’s exciting new direction.
“In true Virgin Australia style, we’ve really elevated the playful elements in signage, furniture and vibrant lighting features, adding pops of colour and energising moments, to enrich the lounge’s natural material palette. It’s a venue that’s delightfully Virgin and provides frequent flyers with a warm and relaxing space when they fly,” said Mr Grady
“The Lounge will provide travellers with an inspiring experience, conveying a sense of informality and ease; a place to pass time in true comfort and ease,” he said.