Qantas will temporarily close its brand new Singapore First Lounge from next month. The closure is expected to last from 20 April until mid-September 2020, although it could be reduced or extended depending on how the COVID-19 situation evolves.
The Qantas First Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport only opened in late 2019. It’s currently less than four months old.
The temporarily lounge closure is the result of a significant Qantas capacity reduction to Singapore – including the removal of all First class service – over the coming months.
Qantas has already announced that it will downgrade its Melbourne-Singapore service from 30 March, from an Airbus A380 to a Boeing 787-9 without a First class cabin. From 20 April, Qantas will also re-route its “kangaroo route” service from Sydney to London via Perth, instead of Singapore. This will result in the temporary suspension of Singapore-London flights, and a loss of Qantas A380 service between Sydney and Singapore.
The Airbus A380 is the only Qantas aircraft to offer First class. With the A380 fleet all but grounded – and fewer passengers flying out of Singapore overall – Qantas has decided that it’s no longer worthwhile keeping its Singapore First Lounge open for the time being.
Eligible Qantas passengers flying on QF1 from Sydney to London on the re-routed service via Perth will instead have access to the Perth International Transit Lounge during the layover in Perth.
These changes to Qantas’ international network – and the closure of the Qantas First Lounge in Singapore – are expected to end in mid-September 2020.
The Qantas Business Lounge in Singapore remains open. This isn’t quite as nice as the Qantas Singapore First Lounge (obviously), but is still a solid offering. Before the First Lounge opened, a common complaint about the Qantas Singapore Lounge was that it was too crowded. But with the significant reduction in international travel that we’re currently seeing, this may not be a problem in the coming months. Qantas may also revive the dedicated service that it offered to Platinum One members using the Singapore Business Lounge.
Eligible Qantas flyers in Singapore also have access to the British Airways and Emirates lounges. And if you’re ticketed in Business or First class, you could use the newly-opened Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge which has received excellent reviews.
Qantas is not the first airline to temporarily shut lounges due to the recent decline in demand for international travel. Cathay Pacific, which recently had to cancel a large proportion of its flights, has closed The Bridge, The Deck and The Pier First Class lounges at Hong Kong Airport from 17 February 2020. They will remain closed until further notice.
Operating an airport lounge is an expensive exercise. So, as frustrating as this might be for Qantas passengers in Singapore, it makes sense to close one of the two lounges at times of significantly reduced demand. (This isn’t the first time Qantas has done this… it used to have a habit of closing its domestic Business lounges for “cleaning” over the quiet January holiday period.)
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: New Qantas SIN F Lounge [Open Dec 2nd 2019]