Is Sydney Airport planning a new international pier?

A new pier at Sydney Airport's T1 could also house new lounges for Qantas or Emirates.

By David Flynn, September 30 2019
Is Sydney Airport planning a new international pier?

Sydney Airport is reportedly eyeing an expansion of its T1 international terminal which would add more gates as well as opening up new lounge space.

Emirates’ interest in a new international pier at Sydney Airport extends to relocating its lounge, a senior Emirates executive has told Executive Traveller, provided the Gulf airline’s flight can be assigned to the new gates.

“What we said is, if you're moving to a new pier, we would like to get the space there,” Emirates’ Manager Product Development (Airport Services) Don Surendra told Executive Traveller.

Surendra says that a prerequisite for any new Emirates lounge “is the availability of space… at least 900-1000 square metres. That's the first prerequisite.”

“The second prerequisite is, is it close by to our gates? Is it easily accessible once you go through immigration and customs, because sometimes that journey is quite long."

More broadly speaking, Surendra added that “lots of airports are not investing money with new piers, etcetera. So when it does happen, we really like to get first in the door.”

A new home for the Qantas business lounge?

Executive Traveller understands that Sydney Airport has also been in discussion with Qantas about the airline relocating its Sydney international business class lounge to the new pier – hence the reason that Qantas has not embarked on the promised make-over of its flagship business lounge.

Qantas revealed its plans for a new-look lounge in February 2018 with the promise of "an interior design inspired by Sydney’s unique lifestyle and geography" which would add "at least 30 per cent more seating" to alleviate peak-hour crowding, alongside "luxury bathroom facilities", a full-service bar and "a signature Neil Perry dining experience.” 

At the time, the airline advised that "construction is scheduled to start in the third quarter of this calendar year and will be completed in stages to allow ongoing lounge access, targeting completion at the end of 2019.

Qantas Head of Product Strategy and Development Philip Capps told Executive Traveller earlier this year that the airline was "in ongoing discussions with Sydney Airport about the lounge redevelopment.”

Sydney Airport has declined to comment on this story.


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.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Is Sydney Airport planning a new international pier?