Cathay Pacific reopens first-class passenger lounge at Chek Lap Kok

Cathay Pacific finally reopens its premium lounge for passengers at Chek Lap Kok after a revamp and facelift that has taken 12 months

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 February, 2013, 5:16am

Cathay Pacific Airways has reopened its first-class passenger lounge at Hong Kong Airport, despite weakening demand for premium-class travel.

Passengers yesterday got their first look at the Wing first-class lounge, next to customs, immigration and quarantine at Terminal One, after a head-to-toe revamp which lasted 12 months.

The new lounge is more than a third bigger than the old one, with room for 167 passengers, up from 123. It is the first time the lounge has been renovated since it opened in 1998. The old lounge had faced criticism for being worn out and too crowded.

Toby Smith, Cathay Pacific's general manager product, said yesterday: "As the network and business of Cathay is growing, the demand on the business/first class lounges will also increase. It is an ongoing process to invest in our product to meet the needs of our valued passengers."

In September, Cathay will open its sixth lounge at the airport. The new business lounge will be located near to gate 33, at the end of the main spine. Cathay already has five lounges at the airport, covering a total of 10,000 square metres.

Business and first-class passenger demand is still under pressure as investment banks and other financial institutes cut back their travel budgets in light of the softening economy in Europe. Cathay said in December that the overall performance in its premium cabins was weaker than expected, although the demand at the economy end held up during the holiday travel season.

The first-class lounge serves Marco Polo Club diamond card holders and Oneworld Emerald members, as well as first-class ticket holders.

It features a champagne bar and five cabanas, each equipped with a full-sized bath and a day bed. There are also 12 luxury shower suites. The dining service, with catering by the Peninsula hotel, has been enhanced, with the introduction of an a la carte menu.

Although the cabanas are designed for passenger to take a nap after a long flight, overnight stays are not allowed, as the lounge closes from midnight to 5.30am.

Cathay and Dragonair carried a total of 28.9 million passengers last year, up 5 per cent year on year, mainly boosted by passenger growth within Asia.