While you were brushing your teeth this morning Qantas announced a multi-million dollar investment in a new First Class lounge—and an expansion of the airline’s existing Business lounge at Singapore Changi Airport.
With the development due to start in April 2019, the state-of-art Singapore First Lounge will seat 240 customers in a luxurious environment, tickling their taste-buds with premium a la carte dining and locally-inspired menus.
Meanwhile the existing business class lounge, which was new in 2013, will be updated and expanded so that combined, the First and Business class lounges will offer seating for more than 800 travellers.
The announcement came as part of the Qantas Group’s First Quarter trading update, with CEO Alan Joyce pointing out that the airline’s overall lounge capacity in Singapore will now increase by 60 percent, to keep up with demand:
“With the return of our A380 service to Singapore we’ve got more passengers transiting through our existing lounge and strong demand for travel in premium cabins.”
“Our top tier Frequent Flyers,” he added, “Tell us their pre-flight lounge ritual is one of their trip highlights and the Singapore First Lounge will be no exception. For people taking an onward flight it will be a place to refresh, dine, make calls and catch up on emails before continuing their journey.”
And there’s something in it for the culture vultures and foodies, too. According to this morning’s press release, “Qantas will work with Chef Neil Perry and Industrial Designer David Caon in collaboration with Akin Atelier, to create a relaxing, high quality environment for passengers to either start their international journey or transit through Singapore.”
“The design will embody a clear focus on sustainability with choices in materials, lighting interior, layouts and amenities all reflecting the highest local and international design techniques.”
Not only that, but the new first class lounge will offer new shower facilities, a cocktail bar, open kitchen and cuisine showcasing the most lip-smacking aspects of Singapore’s dining culture, joining Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles as Qantas bases with a dedicated First Lounge.
As Singapore carries more than 20 per cent of Qantas’ wide body fleet (Qantas operates over 50 return services in to and out of Changi Airport each week, and Jetstar, a Qantas subsidiary, operates 298 weekly return flights from Singapore to 26 destinations), we can tentatively call this a good decision from the Qantas top brass.