Air New Zealand will reopen its Australian airport lounges over the coming weeks as quarantine-free travel between Australia and NZ resumes from April 13.
“We’ll have a new menu for customers, but expect to see some of the favourites returning – especially the beloved espresso martinis in Sydney,” Alison Swarbrick, Air New Zealand’s Senior Manager Global Lounges and Valet, tells Executive Traveller.
The Air New Zealand lounge at Fiji is also slated to unlock its doors on April 8.
In the land of the long white cloud, the Kiwi carrier’s Wellington international lounge will open on April 1, while its flagship Auckland international lounge – which currently closes at 3.30pm – “will fully reopen to include evening departures,” the airline says.
“We know customers love our lounges, be it to get some work done before flying or to sit back and relax with some wine and cheese prior to departure. We’ve certainly missed the opportunity to play host and can’t wait to throw open the doors once again,” Swarbrick says.
While Qantas will reopen its Sydney and Melbourne international business class lounges this coming Sunday March 27, along with bringing both cities’ first class lounges back into full swing, the airline has yet to advise its plans for New Zealand. Executive Traveller has approached Qantas for comment.
During the short-lived Australia/New Zealand travel bubble of mid-2021, Qantas came to an arrangement for its business class passengers, top-tier frequent flyers and Qantas Club members to use the Air New Zealand lounges at Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington before their trip back home.
This temporary deal struck by the airline industry’s most famous ‘frenemies’ was certainly an upgrade at Auckland, where Qantas maintains some of its most underwhelming International First and Business lounges.
The airline has long promised to replace both with a single modernised space which would draw its design and dining inspiration from the likes of the Qantas lounges at Singapore, London and Los Angeles.
As previously and exclusively reported by Executive Traveller, under an ongoing lounge rationalisation program spurred on by the pandemic, Qantas has permanently shuttered its lounges at Hong Kong, Tokyo Narita and Perth’s T1 international terminal.