Changes in the Premium Lounge scene
Virgin Australia has fired another shot across the bows of Qantas as word of a new lounge with their partner airline Etihad is the headline news of a number of developments at Sydney Airport.
Former-Qantas CEO and current chief at Virgin, John Borghetti announced a new facility for its burgeoning hordes of passengers, following the success of its invitation-only ‘Club’ locations in airports across Australia. Elsewhere, Singapore Airlines will update its SilverKris lounge at Sydney by mid-2013, whilst Malaysian Airlines is considering closing select lounges around the world after joining the oneworld Alliance.
The development of Virgin Australia’s lounges has been swift and multifarious over the past few months. First off, Borghetti announced the arrival of ‘The Club’ in Sydney, the first of a series of invite-only lounges for high-ranking politicians, celebrities and chairmen. Pitched directly against his own brainchild, Qantas’ Chairman’s Clubs, these Clubs bring the best of the best to the airline’s premium flyers.
On top of that, Virgin has recently renovated its lounge facilities upstairs at Sydney Airport in preparation for doing likewise downstairs. The spacious upper level for frequent flyers will make way for an equally salubrious lower deck and the completion of what Borghetti calls the airline’s ‘flagship lounge.’ Now Virgin has announced that by the middle of this year it and Etihad will open a ’boutique hotel/ private members – style lounge for first and business class passengers.
Wow! The battle to lure Business Class passengers escalates.