Maldives Airports Company unveils first phase of VIP terminal at Velana Airport

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Lounge operations have commenced at Velana International Airport’s new Maamahi Executive Lounge, following the completion of phase one of the VIP terminal building.

The four-storey VIP terminal facility is being developed as a two-phase project with world-renowned architect, Yuji Yamazaki. Designed to deliver a luxurious experience encapsulating the spirit and style of the Maldives, the interior design was overseen by AECOM while Beijing Urban Construction Group was tasked with construction.

Phase one of the VIP terminal is housed on the ground floor and is dedicated to VVIP services. It is approximately 3,200 sq m and once the total project is complete it will provide 6,800 sq m of space.

The second phase of the project will see two more floors being developed with construction work due to start in early 2022. Services on these two floors will be dedicated to VIP customers.

Airport Dimensions and AMBAAR Lounge expand network in Brazil

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Following the successful opening of the first AMBAAR Club Lounge at Viracopos International Airport at the end of 2021, Airport Dimensions and VIP lounge operator AMBAAR Lounge have opened two further lounges in Brazil at Fortaleza Airport (FOR) and Porto Alegre Airport (POA).

The AMBAAR Club POA combines high-quality design with a host of facilities to make the travel experience more relaxing and convenient. Private rooms for calls and meetings will be complemented by an exclusive coffee bar area, buffet and cocktail bar. The lounge design has been inspired by local themes of the surrounding Rio Grande do Sul area, with an emphasis on wood and leather with highlights in rich shades of red, yellow and green that reflect the state’s flag. The result is a space that evokes the cosy environment of a country house typical of the mountain cities found in the state.

Meanwhile the new facility at FOR pays homage to the culture of Brazil’s north-eastern Ceará state. Carefully considered details such as a vibrant colour scheme provide a warm and welcoming ambience, while hammocks and strategic lighting recreate the city’s relaxing beaches and the balmy north-eastern Brazilian sun.

Both lounges will operate from 6am to 10pm, offering a range of seating options, children’s play areas and private booths, as well as an extensive selection of local and internationally inspired food and beverages.

Sabine Trenk, COO of Fraport Brasil, said: “The opening of these two new environments in Porto Alegre and Fortaleza raises the standard of services offered at our airports. The partnership with a qualified company and a reference in VIP rooms, such as AMBAAR Lounge, brings quality and professionalism to the experiences we offer to our passengers.”

As well as entering the South American travel market for the first time with AMBAAR Club, Airport Dimensions has been bolstering its position in the US and the UK with projects that have included the acquisition of the No1 Lounges business, with Airport Dimensions now operating nine No1 Lounge spaces at London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Birmingham airports. The company also recently expanded its award-winning The Club brand with a new opening at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and is set to launch another at Charlotte Douglas International Airport early this year. In addition, Airport Dimensions announced last year a partnership with JPMorgan Chase, which will introduce Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club, with locations already in development.

Perth Airport welcomes Australia’s first Aspire Lounge

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Swissport International is expanding its lounge business in the Asia-Pacific region having launched the first Australian lounge under its global Aspire brand at Perth Airport.

The addition of the Aspire lounge at the Perth follows Swissport’s acquisition of No1 lounges with facilities in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The new Aspire lounge was developed in partnership with Perth Airport and is open to all passengers departing from Terminal 2. The terminal is currently home to charter and regional flights operated by Virgin Australia, Alliance Australia and Rex.

Passengers accessing the lounge can make use of comfortable seating and a relaxing atmosphere for 120 guests. Amenities include a variety of digital magazines and newspapers, charging facilities, televisions and free Wi-Fi.

“We are excited to bring our renowned Aspire lounge brand to Perth Airport. It will make travelling for our guests as relaxing as possible,” said Brad Moore, Swissport’s Managing Director Australia. “Our lounge products are carefully designed to meet the unique and evolving needs of our airport and airline partners. The remote area workers that frequent Perth’s Terminal 2 will have access to a peaceful new space for socialising and dining, adding some extra comforts to the start of their journey.”

Perth Airport’s CCO, Kate Holsgrove, added: “Pay-per-use lounges are becoming more popular at airports around the world. It is great to be able to open the new Aspire Lounge to our regional passengers as a place to escape the hustle and bustle before their flight.”

The airport is set to welcome a second Aspire lounge later this year. It will be built in the airport’s former control centre and part of the observation deck, transforming it into a dedicated space for passengers to unwind and enjoy sweeping views of the airport and the city skyline before embarking on their journey.