Automation at the forefront of Virgin Australia’s Melbourne terminal redevelopment
Self-service kiosks and automated bag drops are among the features set to be installed at Melbourne International Airport in a three-year programme.
MAKEOVER: An image of Melbourne's future Virgin Australia domestic terminal
Virgin Australia yesterday announced plans for a comprehensive redevelopment of its domestic terminal at Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 3 (T3).
The Australian branch of the international airline released concept designs showing new features intended to enhance and streamline the experience for travellers.
By mid-2019, the redeveloped terminal will offer an an automated check-in process in the T3 check-in hall for Virgin Australia guests, including:
- Automated bag drop facilities;
- Enhanced self-service kiosks, which will enable guests to check-in, print boarding passes, add bags and print baggage tags;
- Service pods where Virgin Australia ground crew can assist guests with check-in; and
- A service desk to assist with traditional check-in and general enquires.
The introduction of these automated check-in features will significantly reduce the time taken to check-in and check luggage.
Once construction has been completed, T3 will also feature:
- A dedicated Premium Entry for Virgin Australia’s Business Class guests and Platinum and Gold Velocity Frequent Flyers, including dedicated check-in, bag drop and security screening features and direct access to the Virgin Australia Lounge;
- Construction of a new internal ramp between Terminals 3 and 4 that will enable the repositioning of the general T3 security screening facilities. This will reduce passenger congestion in T3, create a more spacious area for T3 security screening and offer better access to the new retail offering in Terminal 4;
- Virgin Australia Lounge guests will enjoy a seamless transition to their gates, with all of T3’s repositioned security screening facilities to be located before the Lounge entry; and
- The addition of two baggage carousels in the T3 arrivals hall.
The unveiling of these concept designs follows the domestic terminal agreement that was signed in June between Virgin Australia and Melbourne Airport, which included key commercial terms to support the redevelopment of T3.
Virgin Australia and Melbourne Airport are working together to finalise the design process, with the works anticipated to begin in 2018.
The Group Executive for Virgin Australia Airlines, Rob Sharp, said the proposed upgrades were a part of Virgin Australia’s commitment to creating the world’s most rewarding travel experience.
“The airport experience is an important part of our guest’s overall travel experience. Virgin Australia runs a major operation at Melbourne Airport, operating up to 100 return flights each day. The redeveloped terminal will see Virgin Australia provide guests with a world class experience on the ground, to match the unrivalled service we provide on-board” said Mr Sharp.
“We were the first airline in Australia to introduce the kerbside Premium Entry product at Sydney Airport and we are thrilled to be able to offer this to our customers travelling through Melbourne.”
Melbourne Airport CEO, Lyell Strambi, has also welcomed the proposed redevelopment plans, saying it is a boost for the city of Melbourne.
“Around two thirds of all passengers travelling through Melbourne Airport are flying on a domestic service, so we welcome Virgin Australia’s vision for the traveller experience and commitment to Melbourne. We are excited to continue working closely with Virgin Australia to bring this wonderful vision to life.”