Perth Airport closes T1D, Virgin lounge stays open
Passenger numbers through Perth Airport have been heavily hit.
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In the aftermath of WA’s February 5 re-opening being scrapped, Perth Airport is temporarily shutting down some terminals ‘due to low passenger numbers’. One casualty is Virgin Australia’s relatively-new Terminal 1 Domestic space. Instead, all VA flights are being shunted to the T2 Regional gates nearby, from 7 February 2022.
Terminal 3, on the other side of the airfield, is also affected. It’ll only open from 3:30 am to 8 am on weekdays to cater for the FIFO crowd. Qantas and Jetstar flights will still operate out of the neighbouring Terminal 4, which is also where you’ll find the Qantas Club and Domestic Business Lounge.
Perth Airport CEO, Kevin Brown, said that the terminal closures were a sensible step to take.
Covid-19 has had a catastrophic impact on the aviation sector and Perth Airport has not been immune to that. Last financial year, it cost us more than $6 per passenger to keep our airport open. We posted the first financial loss ($64.5 million) in our history.
Only 4,000 interstate passengers have moved through Terminal 1 Domestic this January. This compares to almost 50,000 for the same period pre-Covid. Airports have high fixed operational costs and running multiple terminals while we have very low passenger flows is simply unsustainable.
We’ll be working with our airline and retail partners to minimise impacts from these temporary measures.– Kevin Brown, Perth Airport CEO, 2 February 2022
Virgin Australia lounge to remain open
Despite the terminal closure, WA-based frequent flyers looking to jet off to the likes of Broome will still have a lounge to look forward to. The airline has confirmed with Point Hacks that the Virgin Australia Perth Lounge will remain open.
After checking in and clearing security at T2, passengers can simply head to the T1 Virgin Australia Lounge by following the covered walkway to the right of the departure lounge. Incidentally, Perth’s first pay-per-entry Aspire Lounge is also accessible in T2.
It’s sad to see Perth Airport resorting to drastic measures while the rest of Australia is free to travel. But the decision to temporarily close down some terminals does make sense, financially. We can only hope that the closure is short-lived and Western Australia is able to rejoin the country before long.
If you’re flying Virgin Australia out of Perth, you’ll still have lounge access when flying Business Class. People with elite Velocity or partner airline status with a lounge membership or with complimentary lounge passes from credit cards will also be taken care of.
Looking to kick back in the Virgin Australia lounge before your next flight? Take out a credit card with lounge passes and also earn a big chunk of bonus Velocity Points on top!