Qantas has officially opened its newest First Lounge early this week, a luxury space spread over 1000 square metres at Singapore’s Changi Airport.
The new First Lounge will operate in tandem alongside the airline’s existing International Business Lounge, providing capacity for 240 customers and a bespoke offering for Qantas’ First Class passengers and top tier frequent flyers.
The new build was designed by Australian designer David Caon in collaboration with Kelvin Ho of architecture and design firm Akin Atelie and features a number of Singaporean influences across the look and feel of the lounge as well as the food and beverage offering.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the opening of the new lounge is a reflection of the airline’s extensive premium investment in the region.
“Since our A380 flights have returned to Singapore, we’ve seen an increase in demand for premium travel which has also translated to an increase in the number of travellers enjoying our lounge hospitality.
“This is our fourth Qantas First Lounge, and each time we build an entire new lounge facility from scratch, we speak to our frequent flyers to get a better understanding of how customers like to spend their time in the lounge and tailor it accordingly. Our customers told us their key priorities when travelling through or from Singapore is space to relax and do some last-minute work, a quick shower and a meal before departure so they can maximise their sleep onboard.”
Qantas creative director of food, beverage and service Neil Perry says the dining experience is inspired by Singapore’s vibrant culinary culture.
“The Singapore food scene is one of my favourites in the world. The iconic hawker markets and fine dining restaurants inspired us to design a menu that gives customers an authentic taste of Singapore without leaving the airport,” says Neil.
“Singapore cuisine has an incredible balance of flavoursome ingredients which influenced new signature dishes like the grilled skate in browned sambal butter with capers.
“Customers visit the First Lounge at different stages of their trip, so we included items like poached eggs with mushrooms and salsa verde on sourdough and First Lounge classics like the chicken club sandwich with salt and pepper squid, intended to cater to our customers and their taste buds regardless of where they are on their journey,” says Neil.
“We wanted customers to feel a sense of calming luxury as soon as they walk in to the First Lounge, so we combined some of the classic Qantas First Lounge design features, such as the prominent marble and oak seen in the Sydney First Lounge, and added an authentic Singaporean twist featuring plenty of greenery," says David.
Dining and Bar
An open kitchen will serve up a Rockpool a la carte seasonal menu designed with Singapore’s vibrant dining culture in mind. Local delicacies like a signature tea smoked duck breast with pickled cabbage and Chinese mustard and a laksa with crayfish, bok choy and fried shallots, along with customer favourites such as the salt and pepper squid with green chili sauce.
The lounge also features a cocktail bar with lounge seating, serving French champagne, seasonal spritzes, unique cocktails inspired by Singapore, like a Calamansi Mojito – made from the local Calamansi fruit, Singaporean and Australian beer – and a variety of Australian wine.
Non-alcoholic healthy beverages such as kefir and kombucha, barley water and a Rockpool ‘House Lemonade’ are available, along with all day barista service with Vittoria coffee and a selection of savoury bar snacks and fruit.
Wellness continues to be a major inspiration and the new Qantas First Lounge brings the outside in. Live greenery features throughout the lounge to soften the space and bolster the atmosphere, while the use of natural materials and colour palettes is designed to help relax customers.
A unique faux ‘skylight’ in the shower suites and lounge area will replicate natural daylight and help adjust the body clock as customers transition through multiple time zones.
Business travellers have the choice to work in an open, communal setting or individual lounge chairs with high dividers. USB and charging ports are located throughout the lounge, with wireless printing, Wi-Fi and TV screens for customers to stay charged and connected.
The new premium space is Qantas’ fourth First Lounge across its global network, joining Sydney, Melbourne, and Los Angeles. The opening is part of the multi-million-dollar investment for customers on its Singapore services and complements the expanded Qantas International Business lounge at Changi, which combined now offers seating for more than 800 customers.
The most popular cocktail served at the Qantas Lounge in Singapore is Calamansi Mojito, the most requested coffee is a latte and the most requested dish to date is the crayfish laska with more than 70 expected to be served per day.