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King Shaka Airport gets new luxury lounge

Durban’s King Shaka International Airport has introduced its new executive airport lounges, the R5m Umphafa VIP lounge.

Lounge operator, Menzies Aviation, which is also responsible for ground handling and safety at more than 16 airports in Africa, has upped the luxury stakes by creating the only lounge for high-end travellers at KSIA. The new lounge joins Menzies’ offering which includes its luxury Shongololo and Mashonzha lounges at OR Tambo International Airport.

The Umphafa tree is also known as the ‘Wag ‘n Bietjie’ tree (Wait a While tree), because it traditionally provided welcome shade for weary travellers. Its distinctive two thorn nodes, each of which face forward and backward, are said to symbolise travellers’ ‘comings and goings’.

The symbolic tree in the Umphafa lounge is styled from 180 pieces of wood, forming a double helix raised above the food and bar area. The African-themed lounge offers business- and first-class lounge facilities, including TV, free WiFi, Apple iMac workstations, shower suites, drinks and a buffet.

Charmaine Richards, gm executive services at Menzies Aviation, says the lounge was designed to trump those currently on offer in South Africa in line with the major global demand for super exclusive airport VIP services.

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