Step right up; after months of lagging behind with simple snack boxes and reduced offerings, Virgin Australia is back in action with the much-anticipated relaunch of its Business Class experience, available from today.

Although celebrity chef Luke Mangan is no longer the brains behind the menu, Business Class guests can still enjoy a pared-back range of hot meals, healthy salads and Aussie-inspired classics. There are two choices per flight and the new menu will rotate every two months, so frequent flyers can expect some variety.

The signature purple trays are back, as are proper glassware and crockery – which the airline says is part of its commitment to a premium in-flight experience and to veer away from single-use items.

(Yes, that’s also a sly dig at Rex’s Business Class, which is championing single-use recyclable trays and utensils instead).

We’re continuing to write a new chapter at Virgin Australia and we’re incredibly focused on creating great experiences for our guests. Today we’ve delivered an exceptional Business Class product.

Our new Business Class menu and service design is high quality, relaxed, uncomplicated and exactly what our guests and team members have told us they want. I’m really proud of what we’ve delivered.

– Jayne Hrdlicka, Virgin Australia CEO, 25 March 2021

Breakfast menu

Breakfast: served on flights departing from 3am to 9:59am

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and we’re inclined to agree, especially if you’ve been up at some awful hour to catch your 6am flight to a business meeting. Tuck into bites, such as:

  • Smashed avo and feta on toast
  • Ham & scrambled egg brioche roll
  • Bircher muesli with cherry compote

The main items are served with sides of Greek yoghurt with mango coulis, seasonal fresh fruit, and/or a Danish pastry.

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Lunch & Dinner menu

Lunch: served on flights departing from 10am to 3:59pm
Dinner: served on flights departing from 4pm

Darting around Australia during the day or after work? You could savour some heartier options including:

  • Pumpkin and prosciutto salad
  • Turkey, brie and fig jam sourdough melt
  • Haloumi and quinoa salad
  • Lamb and rosemary pie with pumpkin and feta smash (dinner only)

The side dishes at lunch include a plate of cheese and crackers, and/or a chocolate delight cake slice. Meanwhile, at dinner, your meal could also be paired with an antipasto plate with prosciutto or marinated vegetables, or the aforementioned crackers and cake.

Free-flowing beverages

Virgin’s rebooted Business Class will bring back complimentary all-inclusive beverages, including spirits. Your selection includes:

  • Australian red, white and sparkling wines including Grant Burge NV Sparkling
  • Australian craft beers including Green Beacon Tropical Pale Ale
  • Spirits including Gordons Gin, Jim Bean Bourbon White Label, Bundaberg Rum, Johnnie Walker Scotch Red Label and Smirnoff Vodka
  • Premium tea, coffee, juice, soft drinks and sparkling water
A selection of beverages is on offer again.

Summing up

It’s clear that Virgin Australia’s Business Class meals have been simplified from its pre-COVID incarnations, though that’s understandable given the airline’s turbulent journey through 2020 to this point.

The focus is on fresh and healthy meals, with a few hot options included as well. Business travellers will appreciate touches such as individually plated dishes, which is far more appetising than a ‘slop’ that has been preheated on the same plate.

Given the Business Class fares which Virgin are charging – which the airline says have been reduced by up to 20% since November 2020 and will become even cheaper later in the year – we’d say that the new menu offering is pitched at the right ‘mid-market’ level.

We’ve really dialled-up the flavours in the food with the right seasoning and textures to provide a very competitive Business Class experience for domestic travel in Australia.

Supporting Australian farmers and producers was another important factor in designing the menu so we’ll have seasonal Australian produce from local producers in dishes throughout the year

– Sarah Adam, Virgin Australia GM Product and Customer, 25 March 2021

With domestic travel heating up again in 2021 and Virgin Australia relaunching the Business Class experience, now’s the time to put your Velocity Points balance to good use! Virgin’s Business Class Reward Seats range from 15,500 points to 35,500 points (+ taxes) within Australia.

First look: Virgin Australia’s new Business Class menu and dining experience was last modified: August 25th, 2023 by Brandon Loo