Update | Cathay Pacific's new The Bridge lounge at Hong Kong opens tomorrow, and we've got the first photos – click here to check it out!
Previous | Cathay Pacific will open The Bridge, its newest lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, on Wednesday October 30, having delayed the opening from Monday due to what a spokesman for the airline described as "operational clearance."
"We need more time to test the equipment in the lounge to ensure smooth operation" the spokesman told Australian Business Traveller.
Following an invitation-only media event scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, travellers should be able to check out the new lounge for themselves from early Wednesday morning.
The Bridge will be a single class lounge similar to The Cabin rather than house separate First and Business sections.
But with capacity for 450 passengers and spilling across both sides of the terminal, The Bridge will be “about four times the size of The Cabin” says Toby Smith, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager of Product, and “will probably open in the third week of October.”
The Bridge will be located at the far end of Terminal 1, around Gates 35/36, before the spine of the main concourse spears off into two sections.
“The Bridge is actually split into two – you’ll go down an escalator to a central reception desk and then you’ll either go right or left” Smith tells Australian Business Traveller.
Each half of The Bridge will contain different features to help encourage the creation of different ‘zones’ within the space.
“One side will have a bakery and freshly-made soups, the other side will have The Coffee Loft and The Long Bar” Smith says, with showers and a workspace also designated to specific parts of the floorplan.
Like The Cabin, The Bridge will also enjoy views across the airport’s operational area, apron and runway, but have also have a softer, warmer and slightly more ‘residential’ design.
“The Cabin has a younger fresher atmosphere while The Bridge will be much calmer" Smith says.
"That’s reflected in wooden floors and carpets rather than marble floors, in artwork and books, in sofas and different types of furniture” – although there’s no doubt that Cathay Pacific’s iconic Solus chair will make an appearance.
“With the bakery we’ll have freshly baked bread, which will also give you this lovely warm welcoming smell permeating through the lounge, so we’re very excited about that” Smith adds.
Following the opening of The Bridge, The Pier lounge – located nearby at gates 62-66 – will undergo a staged closure for renovations, beginning with the first class section by year’s end and then business class in 2014.
“You can’t stand still, because the bar is constantly being raised” Smith says.
“And it’s not just being raised by other airlines but by what our premium passengers are experiencing at hotels and restaurants, and their own expectations for a passenger experience rather than just a waiting room.”
Australian Business Traveller is travelling to Hong Kong to attend the media preview of The Bridge as a guest of Cathay Pacific.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.