The Oneworld business class lounge at LAX will close at the end of this month, as a result of Qantas – which manages the lounge – cancelling all international flights due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Qantas will ground its entire fleet of Airbus A380s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and its expected to put its last remaining Boeing 747 jumbo jets into early retirement, in an unprecedented response to what Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce has described as "the single biggest shock that global aviation has ever experienced."
Australia will close its borders to all visitors, allowing entry only to citizens, residents and their immediate families.
All international Qantas flights "will be suspended until at least the end of May 2020," the airline says.
With no passengers to accomodate, Qantas will also pull down the shutters on all of its international lounges, from the flagship Sydney and Melbourne First lounges to its network of overseas lounges, which includes the Oneworld Los Angeles Business Lounge.
Although jointly developed and owned alongside Oneworld partners British Airways and Cathay Pacific, Qantas manages the lounge, which services the Flying Kangaroo's daily services to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as the Los Angeles-New York leg of one of its Boeing 787-9s.
Qantas lists the Los Angeles Business Lounge among its closures, along with the airlines' own first class lounge upstairs: but while Qantas is leaving LAX, British Airways and Cathay Pacific maintain daily flights back to their respective home hubs of London and Hong Kong.
Executive Traveller has approached Oneworld for details of alternative LAX lounge access for eligible business and first class passengers, along with Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire-grade frequent flyers, ahead of their international departures.
On the domestic front, reduced flying within Australia will also see Qantas close its invitation-only Chairman's Lounges and, in most capital cities, direct all lounge-worthy passengers to the Qantas business class lounges.
With most of Qantas' 13 million frequent flyers effectively grounded by coronavirus-related travel restrictions and the airline's drastically down-sized network, Qantas will automatically extend the status of its Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One card-holders through to as late as 2022, even if they don't set foot on an airplane.
However, the coronavirus has also put Qantas' planned purchase of Airbus A350 jets on the back-burner until the end of 2020
Although this isn't expected to delay the launch of the ambitious non-stop Project Sunrise flights to London and New York, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said "we would rather wait for the coronavirus issue to be out of the way before we put a firm aircraft order in for the A350."