Qantas will plough some of its record $1.6b pre-tax profit from the 2018 financial year into a revamp of it international lounges at Sydney, Auckland and Tokyo, along with expanding its recently-opened Brisbane lounge, while domestic lounges at Hobart and Tamworth will also see a refresh.
Here's what's in store across the network, although in most cases Qantas has not detailed when we'll see these upgrades.
Qantas First Lounge, Sydney
Qantas' flagship international first class lounge in Sydney will be reconfigured to add 15% more seating – a move that many high flyers and Platinum cardholders will welcome: particularly when jetting off during school holiday periods when the lounge is at its busiest.
This doesn't mean a physical expansion of the space, but rather finding a way to better utilise the lounge's current footprint.
The design and amenities of the lounge will also be refreshed, although Rockpool dining will remain a staple of the lounge.
Qantas International Business Lounge, Sydney
The neighbouring Qantas international business class lounge in Sydney sits at the top of Qantas' lounge to-do list, with planning for a refresh announced earlier this year now underway and a ribbon-cutting by the end of 2019.
In addition to a new look and feel from designer David Caon there's also be 30% extra seating and a new signature dining experience for business class passengers, Gold-level frequent flyers and Qantas Club members.
Qantas' Brisbane International Lounge
Also aiming to ease the squeeze at peak travel times, Qantas' Brisbane International Lounge will gain room for an extra 100 travellers in early 2019.
A spokesperson for Qantas confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that the airline will take over the space directly below its Brisbane lounge, which was previously occupied by Air New Zealand before the Kiwi carrier opened its own new lounge in the airport's upstairs lounge precinct.
Qantas Auckland Lounge
As expected, Qantas will merge Auckland's existing business class and first class lounges – the latter now used only by Platinum-grade frequent flyers – into a single space for all passengers.
The new lounge, however, will be a marked and long-overdue improvement for trans-Tasman travellers, with the format taking its cues from Qantas’ international lounges in London and Hong Kong while tapping into New Zealand for 'regional inspiration' in the design as well as "a new dining experience" featuring NZ food and wine.
An opening date for the combined Auckland lounge is expected to be announced in the coming months.
Qantas' Tokyo Narita lounge
There's been a question mark hanging over the fate of Qantas' Tokyo lounge at Narita, which primarily caters for passengers on just two Qantas flights, to Melbourne (QF80) and Brisbane (QF62).
Despite speculation that the lounge would be closed in favour of sharing the facilities of Oneworld partner Japan Airlines, Qantas has opted to upgrade its Narita lounge.
Travellers can look forward to a new design with improved dining options, including dishes inspired by the region, so that passengers can enjoy dinner in the lounge before drifting to sleep on the overnight flights to Australia.
Hobart Qantas Club
Lounge facilities in the Tasmanian capital will almost double in size when the Hobart Qantas Club moves to a new part of the terminal, offering 80% more seating than the current space.
Taking on a completely new design, barista-made coffee is likely to replace the current machine-made brews, amid other improvements. An opening date depends on the redevelopment of Hobart Airport, expected to be announced in the coming months.
Tamworth Regional Lounge
The final space in for a redesign as part of today's announcement is the Tamworth Regional Lounge, which will be revamped and expanded to offer 20% more capacity.
Again, this work is pending the redevelopment of Tamworth Airport, with a date to be known later this year or in early 2019
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