Virgin Australia introduces domestic business class option

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Virgin Australia has introduced business class seats on most of its aircraft serving domestic routes, a move that allows it to compete directly on flag carrier Qantas Airways' main profit-making market.

These premium seats are available on Virgin Australia's fleet of Boeing 737s, Airbus A330s and some Embraer E190s, the airline said in a statement.

Its business class features leather seats with a 62" pitch on the A330s and a 38" pitch on the 737-800s.

The carrier also launched a priority check-in, baggage and boarding and premium lounge entry at Sydney airport's Domestic Terminal 2.

"In the last quarter of 2011, we have had business class available on transcontinental services and the feedback from guests has been excellent, demonstrating that the market is readily embracing our move into the domestic business class market," said group executive of commercial Liz Savage.

The airline's chief executive John Borghetti had previously said that introducing business class seats will help position Virgin "as the airline of choice for both the corporate and leisure markets". He added that the airline was on track to have a 15%-20% corporate market share.