The Post

Air NZ to spend $100m on lounges

- JOHN ANTHONY

AIR NEW ZEALAND will unveil 14 new domestic Koru lounges and six new internatio­nal lounges as part of a $100 million spend-up over the next four years.

Since December, the airline has opened new regional and internatio­nal lounges at Auckland Internatio­nal Airport, as well as a new internatio­nal lounge at Sydney Airport.

A new internatio­nal lounge is also being built at Brisbane Airport and designs for new regional lounges are being developed for Palmerston North, Hamilton, Invercargi­ll and Wellington.

The Wellington regional lounge is aimed at passengers travelling to regional destinatio­ns, but any passenger entitled to lounge access will be able to use the lounge when travelling domestical­ly.

Air NZ lounges at Queenstown and Fiji’s Nadi Internatio­nal Airport are also scheduled to be upgraded in 2016.

Air NZ spokeswoma­n Kelly Kilgour said that, during 2017 and 2018, a further nine domestic and four internatio­nal airports would be upgraded.

At the opening of the airline’s sleek new Auckland internatio­nal lounge last month, Air NZ chief executive Christophe­r Luxon said the timing of lounge upgrades largely depended on where airports were at with their expansion plans.

‘‘You have to get the airport company to have the right building and the right constructi­on in place to support a new lounge.

‘‘Some of the airports in the regions are in expansion at the moment and we’re just trying to make sure we align with their expansion plans.’’

Air NZ lounges were open to Koru members and business-class passengers, as well as Gold and Elite Airpoints members.

Tourism Industry Associatio­n chief executive Chris Roberts said that Air NZ was responding to visitor expectatio­ns.

‘‘We know that in general travellers have rising expectatio­ns of the level of service that’s going to be provided to them.

‘‘Travellers sophistica­ted are time.’’

Air NZ had a popular and growing Koru membership, Roberts said, although the airline would not disclose how many customers had access to lounges or how many Koru members it had. are getting more and their expectatio­ns growing all the

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