Qantas to reopen Melbourne Business Lounge’s Spice Bar

With Melbourne soon to settle into the long cold autumn-winter stretch, the return of the Spice Bar at Qantas’ Melbourne Business Lounge can’t come too soon.

This centrepiece of the Qantas domestic business class lounge has been shuttered for some time – including the recent Easter school holiday break – but Executive Traveler understands it will reopen in the coming weeks.

This should see the timely return of winter warmers such as chicken laksa, pork cha sui and Sichuan noodles for business class travelers and Platinum-grade frequent flyers.

Wonton noodle soup is one of the Spice Bar's winter warmers.

Wonton noodle soup is one of the Spice Bar’s winter warmers.

When the Qantas Melbourne Business Lounge made its debut in November 2018, the Spice Bar’s Asian street food influence represented the third ‘signature’ dining experience in Qantas’ domestic business lounge network, following the popular Pizza Bar at Perth and the Cantina at Brisbane – although the later has since been rebranded and revamped into more of a bistro servery.

Pizza is a perennial hit at the Qantas Perth Business Lounge.

Pizza is a perennial hit at the Qantas Perth Business Lounge.

Qantas’ Sydney Business Lounge remains the odd one out: the faded flagship has yet to receive the same mod makeover as its Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth siblings.

That transformation was in the wings as of December 2019, when Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce told Executive Traveler “the Sydney domestic business lounge is now top of the list for the domestic lounge (upgrade program). †

“I can’t say when the date is, but it will be done, it’s just programming it into all of the capital expenditure that we have.”

The since-rebranded Cantina at the Qantas Brisbane Business Lounge.

The since-rebranded Cantina at the Qantas Brisbane Business Lounge.

Of course, we all know what happened in the following months: the pandemic completely derailed Qantas, to the extent that Joyce confirmed earlier this month the airline was just “11 weeks away from bankruptcy” after Covid-19 hit.

But as mid-2022 approaches, Qantas is soaring once more, with resurgent domestic and international travel providing the revenue and optimism needed to launch new routes to the likes of India, Rome and Seoul – bring back the Airbus A380s ahead of time – and commit to the likes of Project Sunrise and an order for globe-striding Airbus A350 jets, along with a renewal of the domestic fleet based on the Airbus A220 and A320neo-series.

Maybe the Sydney Business Lounge will even get a bit of overdue love…

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