“Air Sydney” opens new Perth Business Lounge

We were intrigued by reports yesterday that Air New Zealand’s chief executive was calling Qantas “Air Sydney”.

In an article by Fairfax’s Jamie Freed, Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon was quoted as saying: “In many ways you have got Qantas as Air Sydney rather than Air Australia”.

Mr Luxon was seeking to spruik Auckland as a convenient transfer point for passengers heading between Australia and the Americas. The Air New Zealand chief executive did not seem to elaborate on how flying his airline’s U.S. services and connecting in Auckland is any more preferable to taking one of Qantas’ daily non-stop services from Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney to Los Angeles.

Mr Luxon’s comments came on the same day that Qantas were hosting the opening of their brand new Business Lounge in Perth. We suggest that Qantas’ investment in an additional domestic lounge at Perth airport demonstrates a level of commitment to the Perth market that you wouldn’t see in an “Air Sydney”.

Qantas Business Lounge Perth entrance

Qantas Business Lounge Perth entrance

Qantas’ new Perth lounge adds to the existing domestic Qantas Business Lounges in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. Qantas rightly point out these lounges “are a unique product in the domestic Australian market and provides a key point of difference for Qantas compared to other airlines.”

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Qantas Business Lounge Perth (photo courtesy Qantas)

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Qantas Business Lounge Perth (photo courtesy Qantas)

With seating for 350 people, the new lounge has a ‘make your own’ juice station in the morning and a cocktail hour from 4 – 5pm on weekdays “with cocktails designed by the Rockpool Mixology team”.

We will review the new business lounge when we are next through Perth. From a cursory look at the video placed on YouTube by Qantas, we have positive initial impressions.

What do you think about the new Qantas domestic Business Lounge Perth?

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Qantas Business Lounge Perth (picture courtesy of Qantas)

4 Comments on "“Air Sydney” opens new Perth Business Lounge"

  1. I wonder if that premium style pizza shown been served in Qantas’ Perth Domestic Business Lounge marketing YouTube clip will actually be a regular feature (and not just vapourware). I remember in the early days of the Qantas Domestic Business Lounges (specifically the Brisbane one) you used to get a slightly less fancier pizza slices regularly on offer but much harder to encounter these days (Qantas has a real habit of overpromising and under-delivering – I recall the much hyped Island Dining yet it’s terribly limited in operation, and on my last transit through the Sydney Domestic Business Lounge had devolved to nothing more than a cheese plate… As if you didn’t get enough of the dreaded “we just have cheese boxes (or soup)” onboard in Business).

    I don’t find the Qantas Domestic Business lounges much to write home about, and beyond a slightly nicer look to the Qantas Pub, there’s not much to laud about. They are nowhere near the MEL/SYD Qantas First lounges in food and beverage (and those lounges themselves are only at local bistro standard, not hatted restaurants – you need to go to the Air France CDG La Premiere lounge for that level).

    I get why Air New Zealand had a crack about Qantas being Air Sydney, as Qantas is very Mascot focussed and Qantas really did throw Perth overboard for a number of years (yet still charging them top dollar). This is some belated love for Perth, somewhat undercut by Qantas moving away some of it’s newly refurbished birds to other routes.

    Still Qantas has at least done the right thing by improving it’s lounge situation at Perth, as it was pretty awful before.

  2. Hypocritical of NZ as the only main international destinations served by then go via Auckland with limited service from Christchuch and Wellington. QF serves the US from all east coast ports (something Virgin doesn’t even do after the dropped Melbourne). Amazing how they go on the offensive when they’re under pressure due to competition.

    • Hmm, and given the difference in land mass and population size, don’t you think it’s less underservicing as you suggest and more just a reflection of their reality? It’s a bit like expecting Qantas to offer multiple international direct flights out of the Newcastle or Sunshine Coast airports (which have larger populations than Christchurch).

      Auckland has population of less than 1.4 million, Christchurch less than 380,000 (similar to Canberra in population size), Wellington less than 205,000. By comparison Perth has just under two million people, in addition to fed from the rest of the state, and Qantas has practically no international services of it’s own out of that airport.

      Given the geographic closeness of any New Zealand locality to another, it’s fairly straightforward that Auckland is the major hub for them, with fairly short domestic flights feeding everyone to there (you wouldn’t expect Qantas to put on international flights from Canberra, for example, would you – not with Sydney being just a short flight away, ditto Hobart and Melbourne).

      As points go, I’m not sure you have one here.

  3. He’s right,

    Qantas abandoned Perth with regard to international routes despite the WA mining industry almost single handedly keeping them in business during the few rough years they had.The absoulete crazy prices charged from Perth to WA Mining towns in the Pilbara picked up by the mining companies and we get a lousy lounge in return. How about some European flights from Perth Qantas??

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