Kenya Airways has recently announced their design concepts for their new lounges, opening at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. This announcement comes after the airline has already started renewing its fleet with 777s and 787s lifting the carrier’s inflight hard product, making it a competitive and comfortable carrier to travel with.
The new ‘Simba’ and ‘Pride’ lounges will help tie their airport and airline product, offering business class passengers and Sky Team ‘Sky Priority’ members access to a haven of luxury with cultural design cues.
The lounges, which are situated in Terminal 1A at JKIA, should be operational by November 2014 according to sources at the airline. They are the crowning glory of a host of improvements for Kenya’s national carrier. On the ground floor Kenya Airways’ guests will enjoy fast check-in services with up to 26 check-in counters for economy class guests, whilst Business Class and Sky Priority Guests will enjoy the services of a check-in lounge with direct access to four check-in counters.
The designs show off a truly contemporary Africa with a mix of African inspired pieces blended with the best Italian made furniture, and offers modern hi-tech amenities such as free Wi-Fi, a sound proof transit passengers sleeping area, dining lounge, washrooms and showers. Within the new business centre, KQ guests will also enjoy a selection of tablets and E-readers.
“The development of a world class terminal by our partners Kenya Airports Authority has in turn seen the development of some of the most advanced and comfortable airport lounges for Kenya Airways guests,” Kenya Airways CEO Dr. Naikuni said. “Both Simba and Pride Lounges will offer utmost luxury and comfort for our guests and will feature a melting pot of African cultures as we further seek to enhance customer experience at our Nairobi Hub,” he added.
At just under 1000 Square metres, the new Pride Lounge at Terminal 1A will feature a more free-form circular layout overlooking the airport’s apron and will even provide a dedicated ‘Cigar Room’, along with industry standard washrooms, showers, child zone and both a dining section and work area.
Whilst it would be easy to compare these lounges to the all singing lounges of Middle Eastern carriers, or those such as Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic, the scope and scale of Kenya Airways doesn’t warrant such lavish spaces, and when we heard the announcement, our expectations were initially lower and we were pleasantly surprised by such a premium offering. We love the fact Kenya Airways is investing into improving their product, with both cultural sensitivity and a forward thinking international design, and whilst we can’t wait to see these lounges in the flesh, we can’t wait to see other African carriers follow suit.