New Qantas First Lounges the Best in the World

Sydney, 10 May 2007

Qantas First class customers will be treated to a range of luxuries from chair-side waiter service to complimentary spa treatments when the airline's new First lounges in Sydney and Melbourne open later this month.

The new flagship lounges, which open on 23 May, have been designed by internationally renowned Australian industrial designer Marc Newson.

Qantas Executive General Manager John Borghetti has described them as "simply the best in the world".

"The services offered in our new lounges will be equal to those found in the world's best five star hotels and restaurants. For example a full concierge service will help customers book a restaurant in any city around the world or get tickets to the latest Broadway musical," Mr Borghetti said.

"Nearly everything has been designed by Marc specifically for the lounges and manufactured by leading international craftsman.

"Even the music has been specially created to complement the atmosphere and function of each area of the lounge."

Features of the Sydney lounge include:

* huge American oak sculptures that separate the lounge space into defined areas;
* a Payot Paris day spa offering a range of complimentary treatments from a 30-minute express energising facial to a 50-minute full body massage;
* a 48-seat open kitchen restaurant with menus by Neil Perry;
* chair-side waiter service throughout the lounge;
* a library stocked with a selection of newspapers and magazines, best-selling books and board games including chess and backgammon;
* a dedicated entertainment zone with banks of plasma screens showing local and international news, sport and weather, and Sony Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable entertainment systems offering a selection of games and movies;
* a vertical garden designed by international botanist Patrick Blanc featuring over 8,400 individual plants;
* luxurious individual marble-lined shower suites with individual stereo volume and lighting controls, radiant heating to reduce condensation on the mirrors, and luggage racks;
* exclusive furniture and luxurious finishes including leather lounge chairs, recliners, and sofas by Italy's Poltrona Frau, dining chairs and tables by Cappellini, Tai Ping wool carpets from Hong Kong, marble from Carrara and quartzite from Switzerland; and
* state-of-the-art business facilities with 11 PC workstations, complimentary wireless internet access, power and data points throughout the lounge and two private work suites with conference facilities and plasma display screens.

"Lounges are an important point of differentiation for long haul international travellers, which is why we have drawn on the knowledge of world leading experts and brands to deliver the most luxurious atmosphere for our customers.

"The lounges will be managed by luxury hotel group Sofitel with all staff undergoing specialist training through its Acadamie Accor hotel school.

"At the same time we are launching a new premium check-in service at Sydney and Melbourne international terminals, with First customers checked in prior to arriving at the airport and greeted at the kerb by a Qantas First Host and porter," Mr Borghetti said.

"These initiatives are part of a progressive luxury product upgrade being rolled out in anticipation of the airline's Airbus A380 fleet being delivered from 2008."

The First Lounge is located on level four of the Sydney International Terminal and was designed to comply with both Flying Star Feng Shui and classic Feng Shui elements.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (Q3575)