Etihad Airways is taking back control of its former London Heathrow Terminal 4 lounge, little more than a year after the space was handed over to hospitality specialist No1 Lounges and rebranded as The House.
A spokesman for Etihad Airways has exclusively confirmed to Executive Traveller that the airline will resume control of the lounge from Friday 20 December 2019.
"Following a strategic review of lounge operations globally, Etihad Airways has decided that it wishes to directly own and operate a number of flagship lounges," the spokesman said, adding that "No1 Lounges is happy to support this move."
"The premium lounge for Etihad Airways guests at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 will now be operated by Etihad Airways, with No1 Lounges continuing to provide catering and facilities services."
However, Executive Traveller understands that the lounge won't regain Etihad signage or front-of-house staffing until late February or early March 2020.
When Etihad announced its plan to spin off a number of worldwide lounges to No1 Lounges in October 2018, Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways' Vice President of Guest Experience and Delivery, remarked "this new venture will enable the airline to maintain its brand presence, and at the same time enhance and improve the overall lounge experience for our premium guests."
However, now the airline seems to be in a better position to re-take the space back and put its own spin on the passenger experience for eligible lounge guests, especially as Etihad is launching a permanent fourth daily flight between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi.
Etihad's former Sydney and Melbourne lounges, which were also taken over by No1 in late 2018 and rebadged as The House, will remain as-is for the time being. "No1 Lounges will continue to partner with Etihad Airways in its lounges in Sydney & Melbourne airports, and further looks forward to extending its partnership in future," said Laura Finnie, Marketing & Communications Manager for No1 Lounges told Executive Traveller.
The House lounges in Australia are home to eligible passengers on Etihad's double-daily services to Abu Dhabi, Virgin Australia's various international flights to Hong Kong, Bali and New Zealand and British Airways passengers departing from Sydney.
All paying passengers from other airlines are welcome to buy 3 hours of access for A$80 each or redeem a Priority Pass visit to The House lounges in Sydney and Melbourne with an additional 'premium lounge' payment of A$20.