The move from Qantas is part of the carrier’s commitment to consistently upgrading its travel offering and the $100-million investment features four brand new lounges, including a new flagship First Lounge at London’s Heathrow Airport, and an extensive upgrade program of existing international and domestic lounges.
Internationally, Qantas will open a new First Lounge at London’s Heathrow Airport in 2025 in time for the new ‘Project Sunrise’ direct services from Sydney and re-opening a refreshed Hong Kong International Lounge, this year.
Wayfarer’s James Wilkinson talks airfares on 7 News Sydney as Qantas reveals a $100 million investment in global lounges
The carrier will also undertake a complete refurbishment and expansion of International Business Lounge in Sydney, open an updated and expanded International Business Lounge in Melbourne, build a new Hobart Qantas Club and open a new Broome Regional Lounge with double the seats.
Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, said it’s the single biggest investment in the Qantas lounge network in more than a decade and comes as the airline expands its Domestic and International routes and starts to take delivery of next-generation aircraft.
He said the faster-than-expected recovery in travel demand meant the airline could accelerate investment in its award-winning lounge network.
“Being back in profit means we’re back to making long term investments for our customers,” Joyce said. “That started with the major aircraft order we announced last year and now we’re building on that with a major investment in our lounges.
“Millions of people a year visit our lounges and they are typically our frequent flyers who travel with us the most, so anything we do to improve them is a way of saying thank you to our most loyal customers.
“We have three new and upgraded lounge spaces due to open this year and the pipeline we’re announcing today will take us through to 2025.
“London is one of the most important destinations on our network and it’s the perfect location for a First Lounge, especially with our direct Project Sunrise flights on the way.
“Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports so we’re very pleased to be working with them to secure a great space in the terminal for an additional lounge,” Joyce said.
The luxury London First Lounge is expected to feature direct access to boarding gates, sweeping views of the airfield, a focus on wellbeing features and an unrivalled dining experience.
Construction of a brand new flagship First Lounge at London’s Heathrow Airport to align with the launch of Project Sunrise direct flights between the UK and the east coast of Australia.
The First Lounge will operate alongside the current International Lounge, which will become a dedicated International Business Lounge. It is expected to open in late 2025 and it will be the fifth destination to offer a Qantas First Lounge, along with Los Angeles, Melbourne, Singapore and the original Marc Newson designed First Lounge in Sydney.
Reopening of the Qantas Hong Kong International Lounge that was closed and vacated during the pandemic. The lounge is currently undergoing a refresh and the new and improved lounge will open in April 2023. The popular yum cha trolley will return.
Proposed redevelopment of existing Qantas Business Class Lounge at Melbourne International Airport featuring an expanded footprint which will increase capacity by up to 30 per cent to accommodate future passenger growth.
Will include a full internal refresh and a new signature food and beverage concept. Work will be carried out in stages from late 2023, targeting stage one opening in mid 2024.
Redevelopment of existing Business Class Lounge at Sydney International Airport (as previously announced but paused due to the pandemic) pending confirmation of Sydney Airport terminal upgrade plans.
Proposal for a full redesign and rebuild from scratch that will increase capacity by 40 per cent to more than 600 seats and will include a new signature food and beverage offering.
Work is estimated to commence early 2024 with completion of stage one estimated by early 2025.
Proposed relocation into a brand-new Hobart Qantas Club with larger premises in line with the overall terminal redevelopment. Qantas is targeting a 50 per cent increase in capacity from 96 to approximately 150 seats.
Construction of a brand-new Regional Lounge to open in 2024 that will double the capacity of existing lounge from 49 to approximately 100 seats following consistently strong demand from premium leisure travellers to the destination.
This new investment in lounges is on top of the previously announced upgrades, including:
-New Auckland International Lounge featuring an edible herb garden (set to open progressively from 2023)
-New Business Lounge at Adelaide Domestic Airport (to open in stages from 2024)
-Full upgrade to Chairmans Lounge at Adelaide Domestic Airport (2025)
-Full upgrade to Qantas Club at Adelaide Domestic Airport (2023)
-New Regional Lounge at Rockhampton Airport (work completed late 2022 and lounge now open)
-Redevelopment of Regional Lounge at Port Hedland Airport (2024)
Eligible Qantas lounge customers include Qantas tiered Frequent Flyers (Gold and above), customers travelling in Business Class and First on Qantas operated flights and eligible oneworld and partner airline customers.