Virgin Australia & Etihad to open joint Sydney Airport lounge in early 2013

Virgin Australia & Etihad to open joint Sydney Airport lounge in early 2013

Virgin Australia and Etihad are on track to open their long-awaited shared lounge at Sydney International Airport early next year, with a similar lounge planned for Melbourne International Airport.

A team from the Abu Dhabi-based airline will visit Sydney next week "to inspect the space proposed by Sydney Airport", a spokesman for Etihad told Australian Business Traveller, ahead of an opening "in early 2013."

"We're very pleased with the progress being made", said the spokesman, who also confirmed that a Virgin-Etihad lounge is slated for Melbourne.

While Etihad is keeping mum on the actual space and design of the lounge, it's understood to be in keeping with the premium feel of Etihad's network of airport lounges around the world.

The lounge will be built and operated as a joint venture between Virgin Australia and partner airline Etihad to host first class and business class travellers and high-status frequent flyer passengers.

Neither airline has its own facility at Australia's busiest airport, relying instead of Air New Zealand's Koru Club lounge.

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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.


  • KG


    13 Jun, 2012 11:52 am

    A new lounge in the same style as Virgin Australia domestic / Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse would be great. Agreed that if EY, NZ and VA will join hands and set up one "super lounge" as you call it, the airport experience would dramatically increase for travellers using the before mentioned airlines. They could use the same space as the Koru Club.TG also uses the Koru Club and although not bad I find it becoming a bit tired (UA is also a user I belive?). Since there are so many airlines making use of the lounge I mam not a fan of pay per visit customers, which only make it more crowded. Mind you, as a QF Plat I normally make use of the QF First lounge which will be hard to beat in terms of experience, but if some airlines ca do this it must be Virgin and Air NZ!

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  • radiC00l


    13 Jun, 2012 10:26 pm

    I agree - they should veer more towards VA clubhouse in design. Or something similar to Qatar's at Heathrow. Etihad lounges are OK, but they do fall on the conservative side.

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  • jjsyd


    13 Jun, 2012 11:58 am

    Given the patchy lounge access rules at Sydney for Vigin pax with partner airlines and flights to non-NZ destinations this can only be a good thing. Fingers crossed it's annouced soon!

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  • Darren


    13 Jun, 2012 12:55 pm

    Given that NZ have more flights from SYD than EY/DJ/VA combined, I don't think NZ would be that keen to give up control of their Lounge space.

    It does seem a logical move however for them to combine their resources and create a super lounge.

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  • 777


    13 Jun, 2012 02:18 pm

    It was noted on AFF that Etihad have a current application in to build their own lounge at MEL so you would think i Sydney one can't be too far off. 

    Consistent international lounge access ex-Australia on VA/ DJ is definitely a weak point in their progtam at the moment. 

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  • willvill


    13 Jun, 2012 04:14 pm

    The Air NZ Lounge at Sydney International Airport is terrible. Too many people from too many airlines all enjoying a third class motel buffet.

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  • Al Glidden


    13 Jun, 2012 06:38 pm

    Wow, great news for Virgin! I hope they let their trans-Tasman flyers use this lounge instead of Koru, and not just restrict the lounge to people on Virgin & Etihad flights. I don't think this lounge would match the Qantas First Class Lounge because Qanats still has way more 'premium' travellers and frequent flyers, and also it has to cater for the people on BA and Cathay as well. But Virgin & Etihad should still be able to come up with a great 'business lounge' between them. Looking forward to seeing more on this!

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  • rob1984


    13 Jun, 2012 09:13 pm

    Next is a proper lounge in LAX to the same standard as the domestic lounges.

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  • StuParr


    14 Jun, 2012 08:57 am

    That appears to be the logical next step for them. The priority had to have been an international lounge in their main Australian ports and then after that LAX. With so few flights though they may be looking at a tie up with another airline to save on costs.

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  • am


    14 Jun, 2012 10:11 am

    Sounds good! Perhaps the NZ and SQ lounges could be combined (would this be possible?) to create a massive VA facility used by SQ, EY, NZ, DL etc. The SQ facility is pretty lacklustre from memory. 

    The Malaysia Airlines space will probably also be free soon given their switch into Oneworld which will probably see them move to use the Qantas facilities...

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  • moa999


    8 May, 2013 09:45 pm

    Any update on this in May 2013 ?? - past my definition of "early"

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  • David Flynn


    8 May, 2013 09:51 pm

    Yeah, it's now end of year says VA, but opening before Christmas.

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20 Jun, 2019 01:27 am


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