Air New Zealand opens flagship lounge in Auckland

Air New Zealand has unveiled its new flagship international lounge at Auckland International Airport. The new design features tailored seating zones that aim to meet the changing needs of travellers.

The new fit-out is housed in a different area than the current lounge, and at more than 2000 square metres can seat more than 375 travellers.

Designed with award-winning global architectural firm Gensler, which also partnered with Air New Zealand on the new Sydney International Lounge and the Star Alliance International Lounge in Los Angeles Airport, it overlooks the runway and features a covered outdoor terrace and fireplace offering a year-round outdoor area with views of the runway.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said the sleek new lounge has been designed with feedback from customers in mind.

"With a growing network and customer base, the number of high value customers using our lounge has grown and one of the most common pieces of feedback we receive on our Auckland International Lounge is around space.

"This new lounge is significantly larger than the previous space and can accommodate around 40 percent more customers. Also recognising that our customers travel for different reasons and have different needs, we've created a mix of separate zones to offer the upmost comfort and convenience for those looking to relax, refresh or get some work done before they fly," Luxon said.

Air NZ lounge

New features include:

- 24 different styles of seating allowing customers to create the lounge experience that works best for them.

- A new food theatre with cuisine cooked to order at meal times by the lounge's resident chef as well as a buffet offering which customers can help themselves to at any time.

- A central bar area offering barista-made coffee that customers can pre-order directly from the Air New Zealand mobile app as well as premium New Zealand wines and signature cocktails.

- A separate kids' area modelled on a Kiwi tree house with books, interactive toys and the latest children's programmes to keep little ones entertained.

- A business zone with a range of seating and tables with electronic charging, Wi-Fi and printing facilities.

- Enhanced connectivity with more than 300 power points and more than 300 USB outlets.

- A New Zealand-centric design featuring large scale digital screens with looping time lapse imagery of New Zealand scenery and a "digital ceiling" over the bar area to reflecting the changing New Zealand sky.

The lounge refit is part of a $40m investment Air New Zealand is pumping into upgrading its lounges in Sydney, Auckland International Airport, Queenstown, Brisbane and regional airports. The new Air New Zealand lounge in Sydney Airport, which opened in May, features a full cocktail bar, resident chef and, on occasion, fresh oysters.

Gensler Principal Architect David Loyola said, "The challenge was to design a lounge that reflected the Air New Zealand brand, responded to the unique sense of place, and elevated the customer experience. We are optimistic we have achieved these goals and it's very exciting to see the project completed."

The Auckland International Lounge is located on level one of the international terminal and will be available to eligible customers from 29 September.

 - Stuff

Last updated 11:35, September 25 2015