Australian carrier Qantas Airways is investing AU$100 ($68.8) million in its lounge network, including a luxurious new retreat for first-class travelers at London Heathrow (LHR), scheduled to debut in 2025.
Qantas already operates a premium lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal 3, but it’s shared between all passengers in first and business classes and oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members. That can mean crowds at peak times.
The new First Lounge will occupy an entirely separate space in Terminal 3 and be accessible only to passengers with first-class tickets on Qantas and oneworld flights and Emerald and Sapphire elites. The existing lounge will become a dedicated international business lounge.
Qantas has yet to reveal many specifics about the new lounge, including square footage, amenities, and its exact location in the terminal. But it teased “sweeping views of the airfield, a focus on wellbeing features and an unrivaled dining experience” and direct access to boarding gates.
On-Time Opening for Project Sunrise
The First Lounge will open its doors in late 2025, coinciding with the launch of the nonstop Project Sunrise flights, which will take travelers between London and Sydney (SYD) or Melbourne (MEL) in 20 hours.
The flights will be the world’s longest, covering over 10,000 miles, but first-class passengers will make the trek comfortably.
Qantas has unveiled the blueprints for the first-class suite on the 12 Airbus A350-100s that will complete the journey. With the new First Lounge, these travelers are guaranteed a similar level of luxury before take-off.
“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,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. “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 London lounge will be the fifth Qantas First Lounge to open, joining the current spaces in Melbourne, Sydney, Los Angeles (LAX), and Singapore (SIN).
As part of its AU$100 investment in its lounge network, Qantas will also be upgrading and expanding its lounges closer to home. For example, from mid-2024, its existing business-class lounge in Melbourne International Airport will have an expanded footprint to seat 30% more passengers and a new food and beverages menu.
Additionally, the carrier will redevelop the business class lounge at Sydney International Airport, previously paused during the pandemic. The complete redesign will increase the lounge’s capacity by 40% to 600 travelers and overhaul the menu. The revamped lounge will open in mid-2025.
Qantas will also treat its domestic travelers. For example, at Hobart Airport (HBA) in Tasmania, the Qantas Club lounge will relocate to newer premises to seat 50% more customers. In Western Australia, Broome Airport (BME) will receive a new and improved Regional Lounge in 2024 as Qantas responds to strong demand from premium leisure travelers headed to the Kimberley.
More imminently, Qantas will reopen its lounge at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), which was closed and vacated during the pandemic. The lounge is undergoing a refresh and will open in April, with the fan favorite yum cha brunch trolley returning.