Virgin Australia’s founder Richard Branson has visited Brisbane this week to unveil new upgrades to the capital city’s airport facilities. A number of terminals have had a significant facelift, and the company has invested in creating more comfortable and accommodating gate facilities, seven new jet bridges and 16 retailers.
As a major employer around Australia, the development has supported a number of jobs in Queensland during its construction, while the state government highlighted the spark it will bring to tourism in the Sunshine State.
“This enhancement of Virgin Australia’s Brisbane Airport facilities is a show of confidence in our great state as a place to do business. It’s a commitment to Queensland jobs, and Queensland tourism,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“Today Virgin Australia flies to 16 Queensland destinations and employs about 10,000 people across Australia – including more than 3,000 in Brisbane.”
Brisbane aiming for the top with tourism
As we see Brisbane’s thriving tourism industry reach new heights, it also bears well for those looking for apprenticeships and traineeships in Queensland. The tourism sector employs almost 250,000 Queenslanders, and its businesses are common supporters of entry-level recruitment and on-the-job training.
Mr Branson’s well-reported visit back to Australia’s eastern shores also came with distinct praise for both the Brisbane-based Virgin team and Queensland in general.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the team at Virgin Australia and all that they have achieved,” he began.
“Queensland has always felt like a second home to me. Brisbane and the broader Queensland market are an integral part of Virgin Australia’s flight network and today sets a new benchmark for all travellers at Brisbane Domestic Airport.
This “benchmark” will be challenged by Qantas, which announced in August that it will also invest on upgrading its Brisbane airport facilities. Australia’s largest airline’s multimillion upgrade project will similarly see an overhaul of its first- and business-class facilities, increasing the size of their lounge by 30 per cent, according to Australian Business Traveller.
With competition high, Virgin’s upgrades may have triggered a rush for others to keep up, which will no doubt work in the favour of Brisbane’s economy. Higher airport standards are likely to bring more international visitors, more money and, ultimately, more business.
As Mr Branson concluded: “After arriving here at Brisbane Domestic Airport today and experiencing the new facilities myself, I believe Australians enjoy one of the best domestic travel experiences in the world.”
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator