Qantas will have reopened 30 of its 35 domestic lounges by early December as border restrictions ease and the number of flights increases.
Qantas Clubs in Brisbane, Hobart, Coolangatta, Perth and Sydney will reopen from December 2 along with the business lounge in Melbourne and regional lounges in Devonport and Launceston.
Qantas began reopening its domestic lounges after closing them on March 23, along with their international counterparts, due to government restrictions.
“As more of our customers return to the skies, we’re delighted we can now reopen almost all of our lounges in time for Christmas,’’ said Qantas chief customer officer Steph Tully.
“We know how much our frequent flyers value being able to relax in our lounge with a bite to eat and a drink before their flight.
“It’s another step towards returning the travel experience back to normal. It also means more of our people can get back to work.”
Tully said the airline would keep a close eye on demand and would look at opening the remaining few lounges as borders opened and more flights were added.
“With Victoria continuing to do a fantastic job containing the virus we’re hopeful that restrictions will continue to ease, and we’ll be able to open our Melbourne Club lounge soon,’’ she added.
The lounges are subject to the airline’s “Fly Well” program and measures such as capping the number of passengers to comply with state-based restrictions on indoor gatherings.
A hosted all-day snacking station will also replace “self-serve”’ buffets and drink stations, where these are not allowed.
The news came as Virgin Australia said it would bring forward the reintroduction of four-times-weekly Melbourne-Hobart and Melbourne-Launceston services after the Tasmanian government eased border restrictions.
But the carrier warned it was seeing pent-up demand for the Christmas and summer holiday period and advised travelers to book early.
“Victorians have done a great job in helping to restore confidence in their tourism and travel industry,’’ a Virgin spokesman said.
“The border announcement by the Tasmanian Government is welcome news and will allow us to bring more of our people back to work and customers the opportunity to reunite with friends and family this Christmas.”