Just like fellow Star Alliance members United and Singapore Airlines, as well as American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines to name just a few, Air New Zealand has embarked on an ambitious program to revamp their Koru Lounges worldwide in an effort to continue to appeal to premium and elite customers.
The airline has committed $40 million to this multiple year project, and has partnered with global architectural firm Gensler. Throughout the design process, Air New Zealand has involved frequent flyers and premium customers to gain a better understanding of their expectations.
To get a sense of Air New Zealand’s vision, you may want to look far away from the shores of New Zealand, halfway across the world, at the stunning new Star Alliance Lounge at Los Angeles Airport (LAX), which has been designed (and is managed) by Air New Zealand. The space gives a few clues as to the design language that the airline will follow around the world. Elements include white, translucent curtains which foster privacy while letting light flow throughout, a variety of seating spaces catering to both work and relaxation, wine walls, and needless to say – power outlets at every seat.
On May 23rd, Air New Zealand unveiled their revamped Sydney, Australia Koru Lounge, after six months of closure during which passengers were accommodated in a temporary location. While the Sydney club was already a flagship facility with an elegant and functional design, it has been completely transformed.
A dramatic wall of flat screens displaying images of New Zealand scenery guides patrons to a spacious and luminous space: the lounge benefits from ample natural light and boasts exciting views of the tarmac. Business travelers will appreciate the quiet area and fully equipped business center, while passengers seeking more excitement will enjoy the bar, with a glass wine wall facing the runway.
Hot, fresh food is available, with a “food theater” featuring live cooking, in addition to a full buffet. And coffee lovers rejoice, the lounge has a full-time barista, and you won’t even need to get in line for your coffee fix – you may order your favorite concoction directly from the Air New Zealand mobile app and be notified when it’s ready for pickup.
The club also has refreshed shower suites as well as an improved kid’s zone.
The 1,500sqm facility can accommodate up to 300 passengers – which perhaps isn’t that many considering that in addition to Star Alliance premium customers, the club welcomes Korean Air, Delta, Philippine Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Virgin Australia passengers. (Hawaiian Airlines business class passengers are now directed to the Qantas lounge.) Perhaps that’s why the new design includes a small VIP room, to keep the super important folks away from us lowly frequent flyers – just like at LAX, incidentally. We don’t mind – Air New Zealand’s new design is a winner, and we can’t wait to bring you first hand reviews.