Star Alliance member Air New Zealand will revamp or replace five of its New Zealand domestic airport lounges over the next two years, covering facilities in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Nelson and Tauranga.
At the centre of the NZD$60 million works will be an all-new Regional Lounge at Auckland Airport, opening in mid-2019 in a new space, as a replacement for the airline’s existing Regional Lounge.
With capacity for 265 passengers, the new facility will be more than triple the size of the current space, to be located on Level 1 of Auckland Airport’s domestic terminal, with both tarmac and landside views, located above the airline’s valet parking area:
The existing Auckland Regional Lounge will remain open until the airline’s new lounge makes its debut, with valet service also continuing without interruption.
Also on the list for a revamp, Air NZ’s domestic lounge at Wellington Airport, getting a 10% increase in seating with capacity growing to 374 passengers, and which will adopt the airline’s modern lounge aesthetic as a welcome refresh to its current design:
Wellington’s new lounge will feature a café and bar, barista station, business centre, relaxation space and quiet areas, along with the expected buffet counters.
When works are completed, expect Wellington's lounge to look more like this, as already seen by New Zealand domestic travellers at Palmerston North Airport, following a similar renovation:
The airline will also open new Regional Lounges in Christchurch and Nelson over the next two years, along with an expanded Regional Lounge at Tauranga Airport, which, like Auckland, will offer three times more seating than the current space.
“We know there is huge demand for Air New Zealand’s network of lounges, so we’re delighted to be able to ... enhance the experience our customers have on the ground before they fly,” said Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience, Anita Hawthorne.
AirNZ’s network of domestic airport lounges serve the airline’s Airpoints Gold, Elite and Elite Priority One frequent flyers, along with paid Koru Club lounge members and Star Alliance Gold cardholders, prior to Air New Zealand flights.
Virgin Australia Lounge members and Velocity Gold, Platinum and The Club frequent flyers also currently gain access prior to the same flights, although this benefit is expected to end in late October as the airlines’ mutual trans-Tasman alliance winds down.
From October 28, however, Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge members will enjoy access to Air New Zealand domestic lounges when travelling on a Qantas codeshare flight operated by Air New Zealand.
Air New Zealand is also currently running a nifty status match promotion, giving travellers six months of Airpoints Gold status, and by extension, complimentary access to its domestic and international lounge network.