Virgin Australia has permanently slashed its business class fares by up to 60 per cent across Australia which is expected to prompt a savage premium class fare war.
The airline’s one-way business fares for transcontinental flights now start at A$1059 to Brisbane, A$1159 to Melbourne and A$1209 to Sydney, cutting just over $1000 off the current fare.
Business class fares from Perth to Broome and Cairns are now from A$409, and Adelaide A$459.
The airline insists that its business class will continue to include all of the bells and whistles including lounge access, priority check-in and boarding, higher checked baggage allowances, priority overhead luggage, in-flight entertainment, plated meals and Australian beer, wine and spirits, plus priority baggage delivery.
Velocity members will also earn 45 per cent more status credits on eligible Virgin Australia business class flights for travel by June 30, 2022, as part of an extended loyalty promotion.
Virgin Australia has also made significant reductions to fares on its short-haul international network with business class fares from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to Bali, Fiji and Queenstown currently available to book for travel later in 2022 with fares on these routes between 30 and 50 per cent lower than pre-COVID.
Virgin Australia Group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said the airline’s plan to create a more affordable and accessible business class offering had come to fruition.
“Virgin Australia represents some of the best value in the travel market,” said Ms Hrdlicka.
“Our business class airfare pricing is another example of how we have reset our cost base and then invested in creating premium travel experiences at very affordable and competitive prices, which we know our customers love.”
“Virgin Australia is continuing to serve all segments of the market while building a highly competitive proposition around our long-standing and most loyal guests, which include price-conscious corporate travellers, small and medium-sized businesses (SME), premium leisure travellers and holidaymakers.”
“If you look at the corporate and SME market as an example, many organisations are emerging from the pandemic with a more value-conscious orientation and we are confident they are going to find our pricing across economy, economy X and business class very attractive.”
“Looking ahead, we are confident our value-for-money travel experiences will see us achieve a 33 per cent share of the market this year, which we’ve always said was our goal.”
Ms Hrdlicka added that “travel demand is going from strength to strength with passenger bookings currently ahead of 2019 levels.”