By James Wilkinson in Singapore
Qantas is firmly committed to its Asian operations, particularly Singapore, following the opening of a new AUD$5 million lounge at Changi Airport last week (Apr 11).
The 460-seat Qantas Singapore Lounge, operated by Sofitel, represents a significant investment in offering luxury facilities for the airline’s frequent flyers and it’s soon to be followed by a new First Class Lounge in Hong Kong.
Qantas carries a significant amount of MICE traffic to Asia on an annual basis from Australia – particularly delegates attending conferences in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore – and the new lounges are a sign that the airline is firmly committed to growing its business in the region, something essential for the conference and incentive market.
Speaking to SPICENEWS and sister publication HM on camera at the official opening on April 11, Qantas International CEO Simon Hickey said alongside the renovated lounge – which offers a restaurant by Neil Perry that features Rockpool-inspired food and Spice Temple-inspired cocktails – the airline was also increasing flights to Singapore from Australia by 40 per cent.
“This multi-million dollar investment is part of our broader commitment to improve the experience we offer on services to and from Asia, including our A330 upgrades to begin next year,” he said.
The new Qantas Singapore Lounge
“It also complements our new Asia schedule, which promotes Singapore as a hub for the region. We now offer more dedicated capacity, better frequencies and improved connections from Singapore to other destinations across Asia.”
On March 31, Qantas moved its Singapore-London flights through its new hub in Dubai in partnership with Emirates and the market perception has been that the airline has downgraded services to Singapore, but that’s far from the case with the new offering.
The Qantas Singapore Lounge – the first time Qantas has worked with Sofitel outside Australia after partnering with Accor on First Class Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne – is a hybrid first-business class lounge and it offers passengers a dine-before-boarding service to enable guests to get extra sleep on the overnight flights to Australia.
“The Singapore Lounge has been designed to complement the destination: it’s vibrant and elegant, spacious and luxurious, and it’s the perfect environment for our customers to relax before their flight,” Hickey said.
“We’ve worked with our renowned Consulting Chef Neil Perry to design menus based on his Rockpool food philosophy and popular restaurant Spice Temple, with dishes inspired by regional cuisine and flavours.”
In the video interview, Hickey also spoke to SPICENEWS and HM about Qantas’ operations in Asia, as well as the United States.
To view the interview, click on the YouTube video at the top of the page.