200319 Qantas
Qantas planes are seen at Kingsford Smith International Airport, in Sydney, Australia, March 18, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Qantas Airways Ltd. announced its biggest investment in global airport lounges in more than a decade, underscoring the demand for premium, long-distance travel as aviation rebounds from the pandemic.

The A$100 million ($70 million) program includes a new flagship first-class Lounge at London's Heathrow Airport that will open in 2025, Qantas said Tuesday. That's when the carrier aims to start nonstop flights connecting Sydney with London and New York, which will be the world's longest direct commercial services.

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Qantas is due to report record six-month earnings on Feb. 23. Fares are surging as demand for travel outstrips available seats.

In Hong Kong, Qantas will in April reopen a refurbished international lounge, which was shut during Covid-19. The company is also redeveloping international business-class lounges in Melbourne and Sydney that will open from mid-2024 onward.

Qantas's new international lounge in Auckland, meanwhile, is due to open this year as the airline starts nonstop services between the city in New Zealand and New York.

"Being back in profit means we're back to making long-term investments," Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said.