Monday saw the opening of Etihad Airways new Premium Lounge at Melbourne Airport, which comes to life just a couple of weeks ahead of the new A380 service between the city pair. Located in Terminal 2 adjacent to gate 10, the lounge will open approximately three hours prior to the departure of Etihad Airways twice daily Melbourne-Abu Dhabi flights.
The space may look familiar, matching the designs of the New York lounge opened last year. The new lounge features floor to ceiling windows, filling the space with natural light and offering expansive views across the runway. At more than 800m2 with seating capacity for up to 133 guests, it is the airline’s largest Premium Lounge outside Abu Dhabi.
Etihad are well known for their high-quality service in their lounges. The centrepiece of the new lounge is the intimate 26-seat dining area featuring restaurant-style a la carte dining and an international buffet of delicacies made on site using the freshest, locally sourced, seasonal produce. This includes bread – fresh-baked twice daily – grissini breadsticks; dips such as hummus, baba ghanoush and muhammara; pickles; labneh; cookies; and even ice-cream.
The lounge also features local produce; cheeses, fruits and vegetables are sourced from Victorian suppliers and coffee is from a Melbourne-based roaster.
The most striking feature in the space is the sculptural showcase bar which mirrors the one found in New York – and perhaps hints at what we should expect from the delayed First Class lounge in Abu Dhabi when it finally opens. Here guests can enjoy a selection of refreshments with names like Flight Path Spritzer, Controlled Airspace, Winglet and Nacelle. Like the food on the lounge menu, these one-of-a-kind, bespoke beverages are all handmade by specially trained mixologists, using syrups and garnishes that are made in-house.
The design breaks free from the previous wave of lounge design, featuring more architecturally led furniture pieces. With the lounge’s geometric patterns and colour palette inspired by the UAE landscape, it is the ultimate expression of 21st century Abu Dhabi modernism. Custom furnishings – by Boss – offer lounge guests a choice of seating styles, each designed for maximum comfort while dining, working and relaxing.
With the commencement of A380 services from 1 June, guests in The Residence will enjoy the exclusivity of a private lounge – discreetly located adjacent to the main lounge entry. With custom-made arm chairs upholstered in Poltrona Frau Italian leather, plush soft furnishings, its own restroom and separate entry, The Residence Lounge embodies the bespoke luxury and personalised service that is synonymous with the airline’s most exclusive hospitality experience.
Other amenities in the main lounge include separate male and female restrooms with shower facilities and Scaramouche + Fandago products, dedicated male and female ablution and prayer rooms, a children’s playroom, and a luggage room. Naturally High-speed Wi-Fi connectivity is complimentary and multi-zone electric and USB power outlets are conveniently located throughout the lounge.
Shane O’Hare, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President Marketing, who cut the ceremonial ribbon with Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi at today’s official opening said: “The new Premium Lounge at Melbourne Airport is in a class of its own – it is the airport lounge as it is commonly known, totally reimagined.”
The new facility adds to the airline’s expanding portfolio of premium lounges in Sydney, Abu Dhabi, Dublin, Frankfurt, London Heathrow, Manchester, Paris, Washington DC and New York. A new First Class Lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport and a new First and Business Class Lounge at Los Angeles will follow in the coming months.
The Big Picture