Qantas partner Emirates has opened a new lounge at Melbourne Airport for the airline's first class, business class and top-tier Skywards frequent flyers.
Located adjacent to the 'old' Emirates lounge, atop the escalators near Gate 10 on Level 3, it's substantially larger – with room for up to 241 passengers – and sports a refreshed design, along with views across the airfield.
Qantas Frequent Flyers holding either a Gold and Platinum card can also use the new Emirates lounge, provided they're booked onto an Emirates or Qantas flight. The same goes if you're flying in first class or business class with Qantas.
While the Qantas First Lounge remains Melbourne's best airport lounge it'll be interesting to see how the new Emirates lounge stacks up against the rather more staid Qantas Business Lounge for Qantas business class passengers and Gold frequent flyers.
The 'gourmet buffet' offers a selection of hot and cold dishes including waffles and French toast for breakfast; teriyaki salmon, chicken satay and fish and chips for snacks; and lamb cutlets, prawn salads, curries and chicken Schnitzel for dinner.
The lounge's bigger footprint will alleviate crowding when Emirates upgrades its Melbourne-Singapore-Dubai service from a Boeing 777-300ER to an Airbus A380 in March.
Emirates runs three daily Melbourne-Dubai flights, including one direct daily A380 service plus flights to Dubai via Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, as well as a daily Melbourne-Auckland leg its flagship A380.
Melbourne Airport is likely to see two more new lounges this year, with Etihad Airways opening a new premium lounge as part of expansion plans which include the debut of its Airbus A380 on the Melbourne-Abu Dhabi route, plus a slick new facility from Air New Zealand.
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