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Qantas to spend $100 million on new lounges and upgrades

written by Adam Thorn | February 21, 2023

An artist’s impression of Project Sunrise A350-100s set to fly from London to Sydney and Melbourne

Qantas is to spend $100 million on building four new lounges, including creating a new flagship space in London’s Heathrow to coincide with the launch of Project Sunrise.

The investment will also be spent on upgrading existing lounges, including refreshes in Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney.

The airline called it the “single biggest investment” in the space in more than a decade that was made possible due to a faster-than-expected recovery from COVID-19.

The upgrades will include:

  • New ‘First Lounge’ at London’s Heathrow Airport
  • Re-opening of a refreshed Hong Kong International Lounge
  • Complete refurbishment and expansion of the International Business Lounge in Sydney
  • Updated and expanded International Business Lounge in Melbourne
  • New Hobart Qantas Club
  • New Broome Regional Lounge with double the seats

“Being back in profit means we’re back to making long-term investments for our customers,” said chief executive Alan Joyce.


“That started with the major aircraft order we announced last year, and now we’re building on that with a major investment in our lounges.

“Millions of people a year visit our lounges, and they are typically our frequent flyers who travel with us the most, so anything we do to improve them is a way of saying thank you to our most loyal customers.

“We have three new and upgraded lounge spaces due to open this year, and the pipeline we’re announcing today will take us through to 2025.

“London is one of the most important destinations on our network, and it’s the perfect location for a First Lounge, especially with our direct Project Sunrise flights on the way.

“Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports, so we’re very pleased to be working with them to secure a great space in the terminal for an additional lounge.”

The new lounge in Heathrow will open in late 2025 and coincide with the launch of direct flights between the UK capital and the east coast of Australia. It will operate alongside the current international lounge, which will become dedicated to business.

It will be the fifth ‘first lounge’ alongside those in Los Angeles, Melbourne, Singapore and the original Marc Newson-designed space in Sydney.

Qantas said other work would include:

Hong Kong International

“Reopening of the Qantas Hong Kong International Lounge that was closed and vacated during the pandemic. The lounge is currently undergoing a refresh, and the new and improved lounge will open in April 2023. The popular yum cha trolley will return.”

Melbourne International

“Proposed redevelopment of existing Qantas Business Class Lounge at Melbourne International Airport featuring an expanded footprint which will increase capacity by up to 30 per cent to accommodate future passenger growth.

“Will include a full internal refresh and a new signature food and beverage concept. Work will be carried out in stages from late 2023, targeting stage one opening in mid-2024.”

Sydney International

“Redevelopment of existing Business Class Lounge at Sydney International Airport (as previously announced but paused due to the pandemic) pending confirmation of Sydney Airport terminal upgrade plans. Proposal for a full redesign and rebuild from scratch that will increase capacity by 40 per cent to more than 600 seats.

“A new signature food and beverage offering. Work is estimated to commence in early 2024, with completion of stage one estimated by early 2025.”

Hobart Qantas Club

“Proposed relocation into a brand new Hobart Qantas Club with larger premises in line with the overall terminal redevelopment. Targeting a 50 per cent increase in capacity from 96 to approximately 150 seats.”

Broome regional

“Construction of a brand new Regional Lounge to open in 2024 that will double the capacity of existing lounge from 49 to approximately 100 seats following consistently strong demand from premium leisure travellers to the destination.”

It comes after Qantas in November upgraded its half-year profit forecast by an extra $150 million as consumers’ demand for domestic flights rises. The news means the Flying Kangaroo is now targeting a remarkable underlying profit of up to $1.45 billion. The final result will be announced on Thursday.

The investment in lounges also follows a major investment in new aircraft, including six more A321s that it will then convert into freighters; 20 Airbus A321XLRs and 20 A220-300s to fly its domestic routes, which includes an option to purchase up to 94 additional aircraft through to 2034; and 12 Airbus A350-1000 jets to launch Project Sunrise.

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Comment (1)

  • Sorry QF, I can think of better ways to spend that kind of money; an absolute smack in the face for a lot of both direct and indirect customers, what about giving the poor old punters down the back more legroom and service; – (refer NZ latest move for ECY pax to the USA). Overall, the back of the bus numbers make up over 80% of the total load yet, what do we do for them? Not a good look.

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