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Sydney Airport’s new SkyTeam lounge to open October 2014

By David Flynn     Filed under: frequent flyer, Sydney Airport, skyteam, airport lounges

The opening of SkyTeam's new Sydney Airport lounge has been pushed back to October this year, a full 12 months past the 'Q4 2013' date originally slated for the alliance's first Australian lounge.

SkyTeam spokesperson Katie Hulme tells Australian Business Traveller that construction on the lounge has yet to begin, but "is set to commence as soon as all necessary permits have been obtained from the airport authorities."

"SkyTeam anticipates that the lounge will be open in October 2014 and we are looking forward to offering a greatly enhanced travel experience to passengers from the nine SkyTeam members serving the airport" she adds.

PREVIOUS | SkyTeam is confident its new lounge will open at Sydney Airport's T1 international terminal around the middle of this year, although the airline alliance hasn’t yet circled a date in the calendar.

“It’s going well, but we have don’t have an exact date” admits Bert Goren, who is responsible for the design of the SkyTeam lounges.

The lounge will be located next to gate 24, and while it’s downstairs Goren says the space still affords a view of the Sydney skyline.

It will be open to first class and business class passengers on the alliance's Sydney airlines – including China Southern, China Eastern, Taiwan’s China Airlines, Delta, new chum Garuda Indonesia, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines – along with with travellers holding top-tier SkyTeam Elite Plus status in their respective airline’s frequent flyer scheme.

None of these airlines currently have their own lounge at Sydney, which forces them to pay other airlines to use their lounges. SkyTeam says the move to a single alliance lounge “will reduce combined costs by approximately 10%.”

“We may also have a contract with another airline (operating out of Sydney” Gore tells Australian Business Traveller.

One of the standout features will be a wine bar similar to SkyTeam’s flagship lounge at London Heathrow airport.

“The wine bar is very popular” Goren says. “A lot people gather there of a night before they fly back home, people who don’t know each other but they like a bit of social interaction over a glass of wine before their flight.”

The Sydney lounge will be divided into two wings.

“You’ll go to the reception desk near gate 24 and take an escalator down, and then you turn to the right for the buffet area which is a ‘louder’ zone with higher tables and seating, where there will naturally be a bit more noise” Goren explains.

“If you walk straight ahead (from the escalator) there’s carpet on the floor so it absorbs the noise from trolleys and people walking, and that’s a quieter zone for relaxing.”

The lounge’s other features and general decor will mimic those of its London and Istanbul siblings, although Goren promises that unlike Istanbul, the Sydney lounge will include showers.

And while most airport lounges have TV screens scattered around and a quiet zone off to the corner, Goren says the SkyTeam lounge will flip things by having a separate TV room.

“Personally I always find it very bothersome that when I'm in a lounge, I’ve just come from a long day and I have a long flight head, I just want to relax and not be bothered by news or sports, so we have will have a separate TV area for people who want that.” 

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 13/3/14 by DGP

Fingers crossed it is open by 9 July when I fly off to Bali.

2 on 13/3/14 by madge

Should make the NZ lounge less busy with CZ, DL & KE moving out. 

3 on 13/3/14 by smit0847

I wonder if VA elitess flying DL will have access to this lounge, or the NZ *A lounge?

1 on 13/3/14 by David

I'd expect this lounge would be the default. If so it'll mean VA travellers will be shuffling between three Sydney lounges – this one AirNZ's Koru and for at least some flights, the new Etihad lounge!

http://www.ausbt.com.au/etihad-to-open-sydney-airport-lounge-in-may

4 on 13/3/14 by Jetsetter

Will China Southern Sky Pearl Club Sliver Members have access when traveling on China Southern flights?

1 on 13/3/14 by David

According to SkyTeam's handy-dandy 'What status am I?" tool, no...https://www.skyteam.com/Why-SkyTeam/Frequent-Flyer-Program/SkyTeam-Status/ 

1 on 13/3/14 by Jetsetter

Yes I saw that thanks however China Southern state on their website China Southern Sky Pearl Club Sliver Members recieve lounge access when travelling on "flights marketed and operated by CZ"..."at lounges operated by CZ or having service contract with CZ".....http://skypearl.csair.com/en/about/member.html to me it seems a bit of a grey area!

5 on 21/5/14 by KG

David, have you any review planned f the new EY lounge? I believe it opened topday? I assume you will be invited to an official launch party?

 

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