The official opening in Melbourne on Thursday of redesigned Qantas domestic lounges with upgraded capacity has been hailed as a vote of confidence in the fast-growing city.
The airline’s new domestic business lounge can hold 130 additional passengers – a 40 percent increase in capacity — while the Qantas Club offers a 10 percent increase to seat 530.
The lounges have been under redevelopment for 12 months and Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the multi-million-dollar investment demonstrated the airline’s confidence in Melbourne’s future.
The airline operates up to 750 domestic and regional flights from Melbourne daily and Melbourne-Sydney is the world’s second busiest route.
“Melbourne is one of the busiest ports in our network, and with the demand for premium travel on the rise, it’s the right time to be investing in bigger and better lounges,” Joyce said.
“Our Frequent Flyers tell us that starting their journey in a comfortable and premium lounge is important to them, which is why they were front of mind when we embarked on this redesign.
“Given it’s Melbourne, serving quality local food, wine and barista coffee is obviously a priority.”
Australian airlines are well-known for the quality of their lounges and Qantas offers its domestic business class customers a choice of two.
The bigger lounge, the Qantas Club, is available to a wider range of passengers while the business lounge can be accessed only by business class travelers and top-tier Platinum frequent flyers.
The lounges are designed by Woods Bagot and the Qantas Club features a color palette inspired by the Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.
The Business Lounge features a signature Spice bar serving tasty Asian street food and is designed to reflect Melbourne’s “chic urban feel”.
Both feature wi-fi and wireless printing, the essential barista coffee and “Quench” hydration stations.
The Business Lounge also has power data outlets at all fixed seating positions, windows along its entire length offering tarmac views and shower suites.
The Flying Kangaroo operates 53 lounges worldwide and the in the last five years has built, upgraded or refreshed 85 percent of its lounge network.
It last week announced a new multi-million-dollar investment in a new First Lounge and an expansion of its existing Business Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport.
This was in addition to the upgrades to the airline’s lounges in Tokyo, Auckland, Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart and Tamworth, it said.