Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti has revealed that the carrier is already working on a new business class seat to compete with Qantas on trans-continental services in Australia.
The revelation comes only a day after Qantas revealed the first pictures of new business class suites that will be progressively retrofitted to its fleet of Airbus A330-200s and -300s that are used on domestic and Asian routes.
When asked about Virgin's response, Borghetti said that the airline was "very confident with what our plans are," but would not provide any further details on what a new business class offering may include.
It seems likely that Virgin will first roll out a revised business class product on its fleet of six Airbus A330-200s, which are used on trans-continental services. Qantas has indicated that they will be among the first routes to receive its new product which will enter service from late 2014.
Virgin has completed the rollout of business class seats across its fleet, which were introduced on the A330s in 2011. In the last year, it added the product to its 18 Embraer 190s.
Borghetti admits that in the current environment, the airline is prepared to roll out new, hard products more quickly.
"Product lifecycles are getting shorter and shorter and you have to plan faster than usual," he says.