Sydney Airport will gain its another independent pay-in lounge in early 2020, when the space given over to the former American Express lounge is re-opened as a Plaza Premium facility.
Plaza Premium already manages the adjacent SkyTeam lounge as well as the AMEX lounge, but the move will represent the group's first own-branded paid-entry lounge at Sydney's T1 international terminal.
In a statement issued overnight, the Plaza Premium Group confirmed a "Plaza Premium Lounge will be unveiled in Australia in the first quarter of 2020 at Sydney Airport Terminal."
However, the relatively low capacity of the old AMEX lounge – which topped out at 60 travellers, often resulting in a waiting list that stretched to 30+ minutes – will make the Sydney lounge one of the smallest in the worldwide Plaza Premium network.
As with its siblings, Sydney's Plaza Premium lounge is also expected to accept Priority Pass cards along with selected American Express cards and some international premium credit cards from China CITIC Bank International, Singapore's Maybank and OCBC, and Hong Kong's Bank of China.
While it's too early to know the door fees for Sydney's new Plaza Premium lounge, access to Melbourne's Plaza Premium lounge is charged at $60 per person, with $56 per person at Brisbane – although fees depend on the facilities of each lounge, and it's notable that the original American Express lounge doesn't have its own showers, relying instead on sharing the showers of the adjoining SkyTeam Lounge.
Sydney's Plaza Premium lounge will be competing against The House (formerly the Etihad Airlines lounge), which charges $80 per person when booked online, or $90 as a walk-up rate.
Globally, the Plaza Premium Group has mapped out an US$55 million expansion plan which will see other new lounges opened at Dubai Terminal 3 in December 2019, Dallas/Fort Worth and Denver in 2020, and a 3,000 square-metre 'mega-lounge' complex at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in the first half of 2020.