From June 28, locals and visitors departing from Queenstown Airport will once again have the option of relaxing, working or dining in the stylish Manaia Lounge whilst waiting for international flights.
The lounge closed in March 2020 when all international flights in and out of Queenstown were halted to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Now, with the trans-Tasman bubble in place and more travellers moving between Australia and New Zealand, lounge owner and aviation ground-handling company PlaneBiz has made the decision to resume its service for passengers departing to Australian ports.
PlaneBiz station manager Kellie Clarke (better known as KC) thanked her team, the airport community and the public for their understanding and support over the last year while the lounge was closed.
“It’s been a really tough year for everyone and we’re grateful to now be in a position to reopen and welcome back locals and visitors who are looking for some extra space and comfort or to treat themselves at the start or end of a holiday.
"We also have strict COVID protocols in place to keep our staff and passengers safe which include regular deep cleaning, on-site food preparation, and relevant document checks.”
As a trans-Tasman only international airport, Queenstown Airport currently accepts ‘green zone’ travel flights and has the approved protocols and procedures in place to safely manage direct flights to and from Australia.
Queenstown Airport Corporation GM corporate and community affairs Sara Irvine welcomed the Manaia team back to the airport community.
“We’re delighted that our passengers will once again be able to experience Manaia’s outstanding hospitality when travelling to Australia. It’s another sign that the region is beginning to recover and rebuild.”
The Manaia Lounge, MƒÅori for protector of land, sea and sky, originally opened at Queenstown Airport in 2014 and expanded in 2016, almost doubling its passenger capacity.
Located on the first floor in the International Departure Terminal with views out to the iconic Remarkables mountain range, the Manaia Lounge caters for up to 150 guests and can be accessed with a Priority Pass, Lounge Key, Plaza Lounge or Dragon Pass.
A ‘pay in’ option is also offered to all international passengers travelling on any airline. Access charges are $55 per adult and $30 per child for up to three hours. A family of 4 pass is available for $140.
The lounge is open daily from 11.30am to 5pm, two hours before the first international services are scheduled to depart or once International Security Screening opens.
Its facilities include a business centre with free Wi-Fi and desktop computers as well as TV and reading areas, dining areas and dedicated bathrooms. There is also a gourmet buffet food and beverage selection featuring premium local wines and hot and cold food freshly prepared by on-site chefs.
The lounge’s contemporary style and luxurious furnishings were chosen to reflect the local environment with a colour scheme that picks up the hues of Central Otago and personal touches like a black and white photo wall of holiday snaps.