Qantas: Lounges to re-open from July. First sign of normality?
Earlier this week, we posted about Qantas increasing its domestic capacity and flight frequency to about 40% of pre-pandemic levels. Today, Qantas has confirmed that it will be gradually re-opening its Airport lounges from July. (via ET)
The lounges will re-open according to flight demand, which in turn will depend on states like Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia opening their borders.
Qantas is only committing to opening one lounge at a time in each destination, so that probably means Club lounges will open before Business lounges, unless other factors come into play. I’m discounting Chairman’s lounges, as they are not open at normal times to us mere mortals.
Qantas will have implemented some changes in the lounges in keeping with social distancing. Expect evidence of someone having moved the furniture in your home! Also expect a reduction in capacity, which given the decrease in flying passengers, probably wont affect you until much later.
Hand sanitiser will be present at the entrance, and stationed around the lounge for your convenience. And that self-replenishing buffet will be replaced by pre-packaged food.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to that one.
The aviation industry has a difficult road ahead when it comes to sustainability. It’s going to require a relative revolution in technology, with ‘electric planes’ or hydrogen planes, or some form of jet engine that doesn’t require a carbon based fuel. And that is going to require the development of an alternative to jet engines probably.
It’s a big ask. It will take time to develop.
This move to home grown and manufactured SAF is a first step – maybe even a baby step in a very long road of innovation. In the long run, US$200 million won’t even touch the sides.
I was anticipating my first trip on an aircraft since mid-March this year recently. I need to head off to Adelaide in South Australia once border restrictions are relaxed. I wasn’t looking forward to it given my anxiety about the coronavirus, self-distancing criteria that will be hard to implement if the plane is more than half empty, and finally the fact that there would be no lounge access, given they were closed.
It looks like at least one aspect of normality – lounge access – might be restored. Mind you the constant reminders of the possibility of virus transmission through spaced out furniture the hand sanitiser, and the pre-packaged snacks is probably not going to aid my anxiety!
What did you say?