Virgin ups the flash factor with Sydney, Melbourne terminal revamps

Having introduced a new name, smart new staff uniforms, new planes and livery, new lounges and valet services, Virgin Australia is still increasing the flash factor.

The airline has plans for a remodelled Sydney lounge and airside structures to bring improved of service to its passengers.

Melbourne's domestic Terminal 3 gets a Virgin makeover, too — a comprehensive floor-to-ceiling facelift.

The Melbourne facelift involves ripping up the old carpet, replacing the flooring with composite stone tiles, new lighting and new toilets.

The makeover extends from the arrival concourse to the departure gates.

A Melbourne-style lounge, which will be double the capacity of the existing lounge, will be installed in Sydney with seats for up to 560 passengers — 250 more than now.

It will extend over two levels with "sweeping views of Botany Bay", the airline promises.

Sydney's departure gates are to be refurbished, with extra seating and the removal of the travelator to create a clean open space, architect drawings show.

Airside at Sydney, the airline is extending the "piers" where its planes dock, to allow up to four wide-body A330 aircraft at a time, to offer more flights, as well as five more narrow-body aircraft bays.

"With eight million Virgin Australia guests travelling through every year, providing a seamless first-rate experience at Sydney Airport is critical to Virgin Australia," the airline's chief executive, John Borghetti, said.

While the airline declined to reveal the cost of the renovations, it is likely to cost millions of dollars.

Work begins on the Melbourne terminal revamp next month and is expected to be completed by mid December.

While the airside Sydney works began at the start of the year, work to extend the aero-pier begins now and should be completed by the middle of next year.

The Sydney lounge redesign has begun, but the physical remodelling works begin in earnest about September.

The renovation is expected to necessitate a partial lounge closure until works are completed, with the lounge due for re-opening in the first quarter of next year.

The airline says it will continue to advise its passengers on any disruptions due to the works.