Qantas, Emirates, Jetstar lounge for Queenstown delayed

By David Flynn, August 14 2014
Qantas, Emirates, Jetstar lounge for Queenstown delayed

The opening of Queenstown Airport's new lounge for Qantas/Emirates and Jetstar passengers has been pushed back to September.

The lounge was previously scheduled to welcome its first guests mid-year, in time for the peak winter season in the New Zealand resort town.

However a spokesman for NZ aviation company PlaneBiz, which will operate the lounge, tells Australian Business Traveller that a series of setbacks have delayed the opening, and "we hope to open the Lounge within the next month".

PREVIOUS | Queenstown Airport will open a new lounge for Qantas/Emirates and Jetstar passengers mid-year to alleviate some of the winter crush during the New Zealand resort town's busiest season.

With space for 75 travellers there'll be the usual creature comforts of light meals, hot and cold drinks and free WiFi, plus "uninterrupted views" of the Remarkables mountain range.

Officially dubbed the Manaia Lounge – a Maori word for "protector of land, air and sea" – the lounge will be built and operated by NZ aviation ground-handling company PlaneBiz, which also runs the Manaia Lounge at Christchurch used by Qantas and its partners.

It will also operate as a pay-in lounge for any traveller without frequent flyer lounge access.

The lounge is expected to open sometime in July and will take over the first floor offices currently occupied by the Queenstown Airport Corporation.

While a somewhat sleepy town during much of the year, Queenstown in winter sees not only full domestic flights but up to seven international flights a day.

According to PlaneBiz, Qantas passengers who are eligible for lounge access are currently shunted into Air New Zealand's Koru Club but during peak periods – especially winter weekends – that lounge is packed with the Kiwi airline's own travellers, leaving many Qantas passengers literally out in the cold.

Qantas will begin daily flights between Sydney and Queenstown between July and October and has also signed up as the airline partner for this year's Queenstown Winter Festival.

Read: Qantas ramps up Queenstown flights

However, on the home front, Qantas will axe its 2014 seasonal flights between Sydney and Mount Hotham "due to poor commercial performance."

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


16 Nov 2012

Total posts 57

I use Queenstown from time to time in summer, and believe me the Koru Club is always crowded.


16 Nov 2012

Total posts 57

Same for me (same name as it happens) and the Koru Club is definitely crowded even in February when I'm most likely to be there, but the last expansion  certainly helped.

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