Virgin Australia: further reductions on every day business class airfares
Virgin is taking it to Qantas over Business Class Airfares, by further cutting fares on some routes and adding 45% bonus Velocity Status Credits on all eligible Business Class bookings for travel by 30 June 2022.
Virgin v Qantas
Virgin Business Class airfares are around half those of Qantas on most routes offering Business Class airfares. For example for a direct Sydney to Adelaide flight – one I do regularly, one-way fares on Qantas start at AU$951 and head up to around AU$1,266 while on Virgin fares range from AU$359 (Monday 18 April is the sample date)
I’ve travelled on both in Business Class recently, and there is not a lot between the two services on the plane, other than seat quality (better on Qantas) and drinks (you get a boarding drink on Virgin, not Qantas). The food quality on both is pretty much the same, having diminished during the pandemic on both airlines. For me, the only other thing that sets them apart is the ground service, where, in Sydney, the terminal and lounge experience is won by Qantas. Virgin’s Terminal 2 in Sydney is a nightmare since they closed Priority Entry. If Virgin re-opened that, they would almost win hands down. Lounge food at Qantas is frankly pretty awful in their business lounge, with the Virgin experience being much better, however, Qantas wins it in the bar race, providing a much larger range of alcohol choices.
Given that service, food, seat, and terminal quality is much-of-a-muchness, price becomes a significant factor. In that race with fares in Business Class on Virgin Australia being up to a third of the price on Qantas – Virgin is the clear winner
The aviation industry has a difficult road ahead when it comes to sustainability. It’s going to require a relative revolution in technology, with ‘electric planes’ or hydrogen planes, or some form of jet engine that doesn’t require a carbon based fuel. And that is going to require the development of an alternative to jet engines probably.
It’s a big ask. It will take time to develop.
This move to home grown and manufactured SAF is a first step – maybe even a baby step in a very long road of innovation. In the long run, US$200 million won’t even touch the sides.
On my Adelaide trips these days, I plan to travel with Qantas in economy (they have same carry on weight that Virgin only offers in business – 14kg) out of Sydney – since I just can’t abide the chaos of Terminal 2, and return from Adelaide on Virgin for under AU$300 in business, if the flight cost in economy on Qantas is nudging AU$250 or more.
Here are the base fares for Virgin Australia Business Class domestic routes:
Virgin Australia Business Class pricing
|ROUTE||VIRGIN AUSTRALIA Business Class(one-way)|
|Melbourne <> Sydney||$299|
|Sydney <> Brisbane||$299|
|Hobart <> Sydney||$309|
|Brisbane <> Cairns||$309|
|Brisbane <> Canberra||$309|
|Melbourne <> Gold Coast||$299|
|Gold Coast <> Canberra||$309|
|Sydney <> Gold Coast||$299|
|Adelaide <> Hobart||$309|
|Adelaide <> Brisbane||$359|
|Adelaide <> Gold Coast||$359|
|Melbourne <> Sunshine Coast||$359|
|Sydney <> Hamilton Island||$409|
|Cairns <> Perth||$409|
|Perth <> Broome||$409|
|Hobart <> Brisbane||$459|
|Adelaide <> Perth||$459|
|Sydney <> Cairns||$459|
|Brisbane <> Darwin||$559|
|Melbourne <> Cairns||$609|
|Brisbane <> Perth||$1059|
|Melbourne <> Perth||$1159|
|Sydney <> Perth||$1209|
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