Qantas and Virgin Australia are engaged in a war of airport lounges, with Virgin Australia opening its new Sydney and Cairns lounges, while Qantas, not to be upstaged, previewed its new lounges in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
The flagship lounge stretches across two levels and can accommodate up to 500 guests, with design elements including illuminated bars and curved glass privacy screens.
Virgin Australia celebrated its launch of its new flagship Sydney lounge by offering race-goers a unique Melbourne Cup Carnival Hat Valet service for premium passengers.
Further removed from race fever, the airline also opened its first lounge in Cairns.
Located on the upper level of the Cairns domestic airport, the 710m2 lounge offers dedicated areas to relax, refuel and work, including business facilities, entertainment options and a buffet.
The space has been designed to encapsulate Virgin Australia’s contemporary look and feel, offering sweeping views of the tarmac and the hinterland. Taking inspiration from the tropical environment, the lounge features timber privacy screenings, floor to ceiling glass windows to maximise sunlight and vibrant colour accents through the soft furnishings.
Meanwhile Qantas unveiled details of its new lounges in Hong Kong and Los Angeles ahead of their opening next year.
In what the airline calls a significant enhancement of its preflight experience, the new international lounges will reflect their local destinations both by design and through their food and wine offerings.
The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, opening in March 2014, will reflect the colour, vibrancy and luxury of Hong Kong, including yum cha trolleys serving dumplings throughout the lounge.
The new Los Angeles business lounge will be jointly owned by oneworld partners Qantas, Cathay Pacific and British Airways, with Qantas being the managing airline. When phase one of the development opens in April, the new lounge will be more than twice the size of the current facility, offering nearly 600 seats. Completion is planned for the second half of 2014, aligning to the broader Tom Bradley International redevelopment. A new Qantas First lounge will also open in the second half of 2014.
The investment in international lounges follows recent developments to Qantas’s domestic lounges, including a significant increase to the lounge in Perth and a new lounge in Tamworth. A new lounge has been scheduled for development in Broome.