Virgin Australia announced in December 2017 that it plans to redevelop and upgrade its current facilities at Melbourne Airport – Terminal 3. These redevelopments will take three years to complete and will focus on more self-service facilities. They will create a dedicated premium entry for eligible travellers and will relocate some of their security screening facilities to improve passenger flow.
Virgin Australia will offer a Premium Entry which will allow Business class passengers and high-ranked frequent flyers to go from kerbside straight into the Virgin Australia lounge via a dedicated check-in, automated bag drop and security screening facility. They will have their own entry leading straight to its business class departure lounge. Currently, passengers need to pass security after exiting the business lounge. Virgin Australia has these facilities available in both Brisbane and Sydney airports and has been thrilled by its success. Virgin Australia said that these automated check-in facilities will reduce the amount of time required to check-in, print boarding passes and drop off luggage.
By providing a security screening point at Terminal 3 it is hoped that this will reduce the congestion at the terminal. The screening gates will also be moved closer to check-in and before Terminal 3’s retail and food outlets.
There are also plans to build an internal ramp between Terminals 3 and 4 which will allow passengers to move between the two terminals more conveniently and quickly. That means Virgin passengers will be able to eat and shop at Terminal 4 after clearing security.
In addition, there will be two additional luggage belts in Terminal 3 arrival hall.
This redevelopment is expected to take three years to be fully completed, with the new check-in facilities being ready by mid-2019. Virgin said the redevelopment would begin in mid-2018 and that work would be completed in stages to minimise disruption to passengers. Virgin would not comment on how much the redevelopment would cost stating that those details were commercial in confidence.
However, Virgin has said that it is currently one year into a three-year cost-cutting and restructuring program. This redevelopment would enable more passengers to their gates on time. This redeveloped terminal will provide guests with a world-class experience on the ground which will match the services they provide on-board.
Melbourne Airport expects passenger numbers to double to 70 million a year over the next 20 years. For Melbourne to maintain its reputation on the world stage, the airport experience must continue and Melbourne Airport’s chief executive Lyell Strambi said: “he welcomed the investment”.
We at Ace Airport Parking are excited by this news and look forward to providing you with updates throughout this development stage.
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