Sydney gets new Qantas Business Class Lounge

Exclusively for executive travelers

Qantas is set to upgrade its lackluster international business class lounge in Sydney with a multimillion-dollar upgrade that will take the crowded, worn space from drab to fabulous.

Executive Traveler expects the airline to reactivate a pre-pandemic plan – albeit initially promised for 2018-2019 – to deliver a revamp that the Flying Kangaroo’s business travelers and gold-grade frequent flyers have long been waiting for.

This transformation featured “an all-new design” that offered more than 30% additional seating, along with “a new signature dining experience” by Neil Perry.

The lounge itself was to be developed by Qantas designer David Caon – which we appreciate as we’re generally fans of his clean, fresh and understated aesthetic – in collaboration with Australian architectural firm Bates Smart.

“Our customers have told us that space, privacy and ambience are what they value most about their lounge experience, so the overall design of the new lounge will be tailored to reflect that,” commented Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO, at the time.

More recently, at the airline’s 2022 AGM, Joyce noted that with the airline “finally returning to profitability” following a pandemic, we “returned our lounge investment program back on.”

The Qantas Singapore First Lounge designed by David Caon.

The Qantas Singapore First Lounge designed by David Caon.

The relaunch of the Sydney International Business Lounge will be officially announced by Joyce on Wednesday 15 February at a media event at the airline’s First Class Lounge in Sydney.

(Joyce will also confirm the return of the Qantas Hong Kong lounge, which the airline said in August 2020 would be permanently closed amid the pandemic.)

More details on the project are certainly welcome, such as how long the transformation will take: the construction work was originally planned to start in stages in the third quarter of 2018 and last until the end of 2019.

That project was of course put on hold when the opportunity arose to move the lounge to a proposed new international pier at Sydney T1 – and then of course the impact of Covid meant the airline understandably prioritized its survival above all else.

However, hopes that Melbourne’s international business-class dungeon will finally see its time to shine are dashed — at least for now due to limited investment budgets — as Sydney’s domestic business lounge is another sadly underperforming facility further afield at the bottom of the to-do list.

Sydney is the airline’s busiest domestic lounge and, having opened in July 2008, is now showing its age – especially compared to its modern counterparts in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

These three business lounges also adopted a contemporary, locally influenced design, along with lounge-specific dining options like Melbourne’s Asian Spice Bar and Perth’s Pizza Ovens, which have become a signature part of the Qantas business lounge experience.

The Spice Bar in Melbourne's Qantas Business Lounge.

The Spice Bar in Melbourne’s Qantas Business Lounge.

In December 2019, Joyce assured Executive Traveler “Sydney Inland Business Lounge is now at the top of the list of Inland Lounges (upgrade program).”

“I can’t say when the date is, but it will done – it just needs to be programmed into all our capital expenditures,” which included Project Sunrise and the subsequent conversion of the domestic fleet to the Airbus A220 and A321neo series.

“We’re going to spend around $2 billion on planes, products and seats,” predicts Joyce — back in the rosy pre-Covid days.

“We want to capture what’s happening with Sunrise, what’s happening with our domestic fleet, and there will be a component in the lounges every year.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *