Qantas introducing pop-up transit lounge at Darwin

Catalina lounge repurposed for re-routed flagship Australia-UK route

Darwin International Airport’s Catalina lounge will serve as Qantas‘ temporary lounge for eligible customers travelling between Sydney and London, via Darwin, from next month.

The pop-up facility at Darwin aligns with Qantas’ re-routed flagship Australia-United Kingdom route, which will commence from 1 November 2021 until at least 1 April 2022. The route adjustment is due to Western Australia’s strict border closure, preventing intrastate flights through Perth and onwards to Heathrow.

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Qantas is leasing the Catalina lounge, which will have space for approximately 100 guests, utilising existing furniture and fittings. The offering will feature:

  • Service delivered by local Qantas lounge team members, including a signature welcome mocktail (Top End Lemonade) and refreshing cold towels.
  • Generous lounge and dining areas with a serviced buffet
  • Tailored menus for time of day, drawing on local culinary influences such as a Darwin markets inspired Asian style soup.
  • Premium Australian wines, beers and non-alcoholic drinks offered by a dedicated bar attendant
  • Power points through the space to recharge on the fly
  • Bathroom facilities
Catalina Lounge, Darwin International Airport | Source: Darwin International Airport/Facebook

“We know that spending time in our lounges is one of the most enjoyable parts of the travel experience. We are excited to work with our friends at Darwin Airport to have our lounge facility ready next week in time to welcome our first international customers in 20 months,” said Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer, Stephanie Tully.

“Given the relatively brief transit time of 90 minutes, our focus will be on offering a comfortable space for customers to stretch their legs, enjoy a brunch or light supper and to refresh before their onward journey.

“Previously, our direct flight between Australia and London had the highest customer satisfaction rating on our entire network and our plan is to recreate that as we restart.”

Qantas 787 at Darwin Airport on sunrise | Credit: Vangelis Roditis/Source: Darwin International Airport/Facebook

Customers eligible to visit the Qantas Darwin International Transit Lounge include:

  • Platinum One, Platinum, Gold Qantas Frequent Flyers and Qantas Club members
  • Customers travelling in Business Class
  • Eligible oneworld partner members

Qantas will also reopen its Sydney International First Lounge from 1 November and its London and Los Angeles lounges in December. In the interim few weeks of operation, eligible Qantas customers will be able to visit the British Airways T3 Lounge at London Heathrow and the Star Alliance Lounge at Tom Bradley International Terminal in LA.

Other international lounges will reopen to align with the return of further international routes.

Lead image: Qantas Lounge crew member presenting Top End Lemonade

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