Seoul is believed to be on the shortlist of airports set to host new airport lounges for the Oneworld alliance, and could even be the first of the Oneworld-branded lounges to open later this year.
Oneworld last week announced plans to develop its own airport lounge network, with alliance CEO Rob Gurney telling Australian Business Traveller "We’ve actually got three (locations) we are pursuing, we just haven’t decided what the first one is going to be – it could be any one of those.”
However, Gurney added that the announcement of the debutante lounge would be made in early June at the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
That conference is being held in Seoul – surely a very suitable location to announce the first lounge would grace the city's highly-regarded Incheon International Airport.
Seven of Oneworld's 13 member airlines have daily non-stop flights to Seoul, fitting the criteria which Gurney outlined to Australian Business Traveller: "that we develop these where no single airline has a massive presence, but we have multiple airlines flying into the same airport, maybe with daily flights. So while collectivity we (as Oneworld) have a lot of flights, no single airline could justify the cost of the lounge."
Cathay Pacific shuttered its Seoul lounge at Incheon's T1 satellite arm in early 2018, redirecting travellers to the third-party Airlines Association Lounge with the intention of opening a new-look lounge in the same design as Tokyo/Haneda and Singapore T4 when its flights were relocated to the main Terminal 1.
However, a spokesman for Cathay Pacific this week told Australian Business Traveller "we are reviewing the permanent lounge proposition in Terminal 1 due to the airline terminal moves that have been required by Incheon Airport Authority."
A spokesman for Oneworld declined to comment on the proposition of a Oneworld lounge for Seoul.