The West

$190m terminal delayed again

Perth Airport has delayed for a third time completion of its showpiece $190 million Virgin Australia terminal and it will now not open for passengers until June next year - 12 months behind schedule.

The terminal, an extension of the International Terminal, was due to open last month but has been dogged by delays.

The building opening was rescheduled for December, then pushed out to March.

In May, Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti lashed out at the airport, saying the delays were costing the airline money. Virgin has been forced to operate out of two terminals on opposite sides of the airport since March last year, creating problems for passengers transferring between flights.

Yesterday, a Virgin spokesman confirmed the new delay.

"There is still some uncertainty around timings for the Perth Terminal completion," he said.

"We will continue to work with Perth Airport to achieve the best outcome for our customers."

Privately, Virgin Australia executives are exasperated by the delay and told _The West Australian _ that they would not be able to accept passengers in the new terminal until as late as June next year. In May, Perth Airport blamed Virgin Australia for the problems, saying the airline's "repeated failure" to meet its own deadlines on the check-in system and design it wanted in the new building was affecting the project.

Virgin rejected the claim, saying the delay involved the construction, not fit-out.

The airline said it had simply used construction delays to install a more advanced check-in system.

Once completed the Virgin Pier, as it is called, will be the most advanced terminal at the airport.

The West Australian

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