Sydney first in Singapore Airlines' $15m lounge upgrade plan

Singapore Airlines' Sydney Airport lounge will be the first to be upgraded as part of a more than Sg$20 million ($A15 million) program to improve its airport lounges worldwide in a bid to stay ahead of the competition.

The airline's lounge at Melbourne Airport will also be expanded and renovated, due to be completed by November.

The announcement of the upgrade came nine days after the airline, facing fiercer rivalry from Asian and Middle Eastern carriers, unveiled plans to introduce revamped seats and cabin interiors as well as improved in-flight entertainment.

The upgrade of its "SilverKris" lounges will be carried out over five years starting from the middle of next year when the facility at Sydney airport will be fitted with a new design concept, SIA said in a statement.

"We hope to replicate that 'home away from home' experience in our lounges, along with the warm Asian hospitality that Singapore Airlines is renowned for," SIA senior vice president for products and services Tan Pee Teck said.

The airline has 15 SilverKris lounges at airports worldwide, including one in New Delhi - to be officially opened next month - and in Seoul which is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

SIA is regarded as a trendsetter in aviation and is famous for its cabin service, but rivals like Cathay Pacific in Asia and Etihad, Emirates and Gulf Air from the Middle East have been closing the gap while offering lower fares.

It said last week it had hired BMW Group subsidiary DesignworksUSA and James Park Associates, two renowned design companies, to develop the "next generation of inflight cabin products" expected to be introduced next year.

The changes will include revamped seats, redesigned cabins and upgraded entertainment platforms as new passenger planes from Boeing and Airbus begin arriving.

AFP

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