Qantas opens first-class lounge at Changi Airport

Qantas International chief executive Tino La Spina (second from left), Changi Airport Group chief executive Lee Seow Hiang (third from left) and Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce (with banner) with key designers of Qantas First Lounge at the opening
Qantas International chief executive Tino La Spina (second from left), Changi Airport Group chief executive Lee Seow Hiang (third from left) and Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce (with banner) with key designers of Qantas First Lounge at the opening of the new lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 1 yesterday. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Carrier's first such facility in Asia reflects its deepening investment in its S'pore hub, says group CEO

Qantas has opened a first-class lounge in Changi Airport Terminal 1 - the first such facility the Australian flag carrier has set up in Asia.

It joins the airline's other first-class lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles.

The sprawling wood-and-marble affair is spread across 1,000 sq m and seats 240. It includes a bar and a 157-seat a la carte restaurant where locally inspired dishes like crayfish laksa and other seasonal creations can be ordered.

The lounge will be open to first-class and top-tier frequent fliers from both Qantas and oneworld, the aviation alliance of which the Australian carrier is a member.

Group chief executive Alan Joyce said yesterday that Qantas First Lounge, as the new facility is called, reflects the carrier's deepening investment in its Singapore hub.

Since its Sydney-Singapore-London A-380 flights resumed in March last year, the carrier has seen a rise in demand for premium travel, he said.

Qantas, which is the only foreign airline to have a first-class lounge at Changi Airport, opened its business-class lounge in 2013.

Mr Tino La Spina, the chief executive of Qantas International, said the carrier has increased by 50 per cent the number of seats between Australia and Singapore since 2017, a "massive jump".

Qantas has also carried more than 900,000 passengers on the route so far this year, an increase of nearly 100 per cent from the 500,000 five years ago, Mr La Spina added.

Australia is a hugely popular tourist destination for Singaporeans, with their numbers growing around 3 per cent to 5 per cent year on year, according to Ms Alicia Seah, director of public relations and communications at Dynasty Travel.

  • 1,000 sq m

  • The size of Qantas' first-class lounge in Changi Airport. It seats 240 and includes a bar and a restaurant.

 
 
 

"The route between the two countries will continue to grow as there are many links between Singapore and Australia for trade, tourism, education and even defence," she said, adding that Australia state tourism boards are actively promoting different parts of the country.

Qantas has embarked on Project Sunrise, an ambitious plan that will eventually see the carrier fly non-stop from Australian east coast cities such as Sydney and Melbourne to London, Paris and New York City by 2022.

Qantas has pulled off two successful test flights so far - one from New York to Sydney in October and another from London to Sydney last month.

Both flights spanned just over 19 hours and beat Singapore Airlines' Newark route, which stood briefly as the world's longest non-stop flight.

But Mr La Spina said that despite Project Sunrise's non-stop flights, Singapore remains a "massive part" of Qantas' strategy.

People may still want to break their trip into parts or spend time in Singapore, he said, noting: "I think it's actually a complementary strategy. It's not one or the other."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2019, with the headline 'Qantas opens first-class lounge at Changi Airport'. Print Edition | Subscribe