Airport lounge planned

A new lounge for international premium passengers will replace the administration office in Queenstown Airport.

The airport corporation announced last week it had signed a deal with aviation ground-handling company PlaneBiz to fit out and manage the lounge on behalf of Qantas and its partner airlines.

The Manaia Lounge will cater for up to 75 guests and offer views of the Remarkables mountain range from the first floor of the terminal.

Features will include modern, comfortable furnishings, dedicated bathrooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, newspapers, freshly prepared food and hot and cold beverages, including bar service.

Administration staff will move into a new space on the ground floor next to the baggage reclaim area in mid-May. PlaneBiz will then complete an eight-week fit-out in time for the region's peak ski season.

''With Qantas going daily between Sydney and Queenstown this winter and the new Emirates alliance opening us up to further long-haul markets, we're delighted to have the opportunity to offer premium facilities to these travellers,'' airport chief executive Scott Paterson said.

''It will also free up some space in the terminal which will assist with passenger flows and allow us to comfortably host more visitors during our busy winter months.''