Virgin Australia has unveiled what it calls the future of airport operations at the new T1 Domestic Terminal at Perth Airport, which will open to flights on November 22.
In a world first the airline will use new hybrid technology developed by airline IT company SITA that allows Virgin Australia to tailor check-in to each passenger and enables the airline to easily change operations to meet customer and situation demand.
Essentially the new area can be swapped from self-service to staff assist counters in a matter of minutes.
The check-in area features;
• 14 hybrid desks which can be switched from self-service bag drop to full-service, traditional counters within five minutes
• the flexibility to determine how many self-service bag drop desks can be changed into full-service counters depending on demand in peak periods
• 28 self-service kiosks where passengers can check-in, print boarding passes, weigh their bags and print baggage tags
• 7 service pods where a Virgin Australia ground crew member can support any passengers in need of assistance with check-in, boarding passes and baggage tags
• Service desks to assist with traditional check-in, boarding passes and general enquiries.
• 12 aerobridge serviced departure gates including three A330 capable aircraft gates
• a central retail and dining area offering passengers an extensive range of dining and shopping options
• the new Virgin Australia Lounge, featuring a Wine and Espresso Bar
• shorter transfer times to both regional WA and international flights
Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Officer, John Borghetti said: “This new technology is all about giving our customers the freedom to choose their airport experience. The new technology improves efficiency and speed, and importantly frees up our people to perform a concierge-style role and support our guests as they move through the new terminal.”
“The hybrid technology has been developed to an industry standard which will allow Virgin Australia to roll it out across the rest of our network,” Mr Borghetti said.
T1 Domestic is the final major project in the current $1 billion makeover at Perth Airport and is a magnificent new home for Virgin Australia.
Mr Borghetti told Airlineratings.com that the new terminal will transform the customer experience in Perth.
“This terminal is the centrepiece of our commitment to Western Australia and will deliver an outstanding travel experience for all of our customers. It will provide access to twice the number of departure gates, with the ability to board up to twelve aircraft at one time, offering a world-class gateway for regional, domestic and international travel,” Mr Borghetti said.
“Our new check-in service will enable us to tailor the experience to the needs of different customers, combining cutting-edge technology with the personalised customer service for which Virgin Australia is renowned.”
“We believe the new Virgin Australia ground experience will raise the bar for airport services around Australia and help to ensure that Virgin Australia is the number one choice for travellers on the all-important trans-continental routes,” Mr Borghetti said.
Perth Airport’s Chief Executive Officer, Brad Geatches said the T1 Domestic Terminal is a world-class facility and the most significant project in Perth Airport’s current $1 billion redevelopment.
“The opening of the T1 Domestic Terminal represents a major milestone in achieving our vision of having all commercial air services operating from one convenient location,” said Mr Geatches.
“The new Terminal offers customers a totally new experience, with high quality finishes, a range of food, beverage and retail outlets and a premium lounge for Virgin Australia guests.”
“We are confident that the Virgin Australia T1 Domestic Terminal sets a new standard in customer experience in Australia. The facilities are brand new, very spacious and designed with the customer at the forefront,” Mr Geatches said.
In a bid to keep up with more modern airports worldwide, passengers would get special treatment, Mr Geatches added. “We have paid special attention to customer service and will introduce specially trained staff to assist passengers through the security process.”
The Premier, Colin Barnett commended Perth Airport on its investment decision, saying it coincided with the Federal and State Government’s $1 billion expenditure on Gateway WA, the road network leading into the airport.
“Perth Airport is an important gateway to our city and our State and this new terminal represents an exciting milestone in the transformation of the precinct,” Mr Barnett said.
“Tourism is an $8.7 billion industry for Western Australia and in 2014-15 Perth Airport’s total passenger numbers, including international and domestic, reached almost 14 million. We want visitors’ first impressions to be positive and lead to return visitation and endorsement, so a combination of better access to airport facilities and the delivery of services people want and need is key.
“There is no doubt this additional infrastructure will be needed for business and leisure travel now and into the future as the State’s tourism value and business attraction grows,” Mr Barnett said
Situated at the western end of T1, Australia’s newest domestic terminal will enable passengers to transfer seamlessly between regional, interstate and international services in one location.