It's been a busy few years for the team behind Cathay Pacific’s impressive new-look airport lounges.
Flagship first class and business class lounges sporting a contemporary upmarket Ilse Crawford design have opened their doors at Hong Kong and London’s Heathrow airport, with smaller single-class lounges joining them at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, Bangkok, Taipei, Manila and Vancouver.
Now the pace is slowing somewhat, although 2017 will still see two important lounge milestones dot the calendar.
First up is a total make-over for the former Dragonair G16 lounge located near Hong Kong Airport's gate 16 (hence the name).
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.”
But the biggest ribbon-cutting celebration will be saved for the lounge at Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 4 (below).
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.”
Shanghai is “in the pipeline” for 2018, Evans says. “Our lounge there is very popular with road warriors who shuttle back and forth between Hong Kong and Shanghai, so it’s very important that we improve our lounge proposition there.”
The revamped space will be better utilised “to have much more seating capacity,” Evans reveals. “That’s partly driven by a practical element, because we all know the delays out of Shanghai can be quite lengthy.”
Next on the list, but more likely to be in 2019, will be an upgrade of the Cathay Pacific lounges at Beijing and Incheon.