Cathay Pacific’s New and Overhauling Lounges

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I’ve visited some of Cathay Pacific’s newest, most impressive lounges, and have had nothing but great things to say about them. These include The Pier lounge in Hong Kong and the Taipei lounge, both of which have been updated with the new Studiolise theme that Cathay Pacific has lately adopted. Both of these lounges are stunning, and I’d love to spend more time in them (though they also feature many other features that define a good airline lounge for me).

IMG_0122Cathay Pacific The Pier Business Class Lounge Hong Kong

Unfortunately Cathay Pacific also has a few dated lounges, but fortunately, they’ve recently announced quite a few updates to some of the lounges that…aren’t the best out there.

Dragonair’s G16 Lounge Refresh

Dragonair’s G16 lounge has been undergoing a refresh lately, since it closed shortly after my last visit in March 2016. While the old lounge was ultimately fine, it couldn’t measure up to any of Cathay Pacific’s other lounges at Hong Kong, and just felt like a very shabby area.

DSCF4967Old Dragonair G16 Lounge Hong Kong

According to AusBT:

The lounge will adopt Cathay Pacific branding, as will all other of the Dragonair (now Cathay Dragon) lounges, and also pick up a new name – although James Evans, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager of Product, wouldn’t spoil the surprise for Australian Business Traveller.

“We do have a name but we haven’t announced it yet,” Evans says, although he affirmed “there’s an aviation link to it, like our other Hong Kong lounges – the Wing, the Bridge, the Cabin, the Pier and so on.”

Evans expects the lounge-with-no-name will “probably open in the third quarter of this year.”

“It’s a larger space than the previous Dragonair lounge and will be similar to style to The Pier Business Class Lounge, with our signature Noodle Bar and a lot of sitting spaces. We’ve also got showers, which we didn’t have before.”

So, this new lounge will:

  • adopt a new name with an aviation link (The Cockpit? The Engine? The Deck? The Gate?)
  • be similar in style to The Pier, though hopefully there will be slight differences
  • feature a Noodle Bar
  • feature showers

DSCF4971Dragonair’s old G16 lounge didn’t feature showers or a Noodle Bar – just seating and a small, boring buffet

IMG_0140Presumably the new lounge’s Noodle Bar won’t be as expansive due to the limited space up where the G16 lounge is positioned, but it will be styled similarly

I’m hoping to see Cathay Pacific come up with something innovative in the G16 lounge, so I leave the lounge one day as impressed as I was after visiting The Pier. While I’m good seeing an “exposed” expansion of The Pier, I hope that they’ll use the opportunity to add in a few quirks that makes this new lounge special.

Cathay Pacific’s New T4 Changi Lounge

Singapore Changi will open a new Terminal 4 shortly, and one of the first airlines to make the switch will be Cathay Pacific, who has been using Terminal 1 for quite a bit of time.

a long shot of a buildingSingapore Changi Airport

(I could’ve used some of the pictures I took of Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 the last time I flew Cathay Pacific out of Singapore, but I’m struggling to find a good photo from that end.)

Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 will be a modern terminal akin to Terminal 3, which is internationally acclaimed as one of, if not the world’s best airport terminal. AusBT states:

Cathay Pacific will shift its flights from Terminal 1 when the new Terminal 4 opens towards the end of 2017.

“We’re on schedule, and when the terminal is ready we’ll be ready,” Evans says.

T4 will be host to Cathay’s first dedicated lounge at Changi, which will also be largest outside Hong Kong, although it will be only a single-class lounge.

“It’s an interesting shape,” Evans reflects, “it sort of tear-drops towards one end and you’ll have a view over the concourse from that end.”

“Ilse Crawford has done a fantastic job with the design brief in bringing to life that contemporary Asian, ‘considered simplicity’ design.”

Cathay Pacific currently uses the dnata lounge at Singapore, which I’ve heard mediocre things about, so it’s glad to see that they’re opening a new flagship outstation lounge in such a premium market. Cathay Pacific and Singapore have been neck-and-neck with business class prices between Hong Kong and Singapore, and Singapore was always the most logical choice up until now, as flyers have access to above par lounges in both Hong Kong and Singapore. That’s no longer a reason, stiffening the competition between Cathay and Singapore.

Marina Bay Sands skyline with a body of water

Other lounges to be revamped: Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul

Cathay Pacific has tons of other regional lounges that are needy of an upgrade, so the next three lounges along the line will be those at Shanghai, Beijing and Incheon. There are other lounges needy of an upgrade, such as at Narita, Kuala Lumpur, Kaohsiung, etc. Cathay Pacific has stated that they’ll be working on them, which I hope to see them work on in the near future.

a room with chairs and tablesCathay Pacific Lounge Seoul Incheon

Bottom Line

As explained by marketing manager Dennis Owen, Cathay Pacific certainly has got their lounges right – unfortunately, there are still quite a few lounges that are needy of a bit of sprucing up. I’m personally most excited to see the unveiling of Cathay Pacific’s new Hong Kong lounge, as well as the Singapore lounge, as these are lounges I see myself being able to visit in the future.

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